U of I Students Rally for New Mascot

University retired Indian chief mascot three years ago

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    TK
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    CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 16: Controversial symbol "Chief Illiniwek" of the University of Illinois performs during the half-time show of a game between Illinois and Michigan at Memorial Stadium October 16, 2004 in Champaign, Illinois. Michigan defeated Illinois 30-19. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    Students at the University of Illinois on Friday rallied for a new school mascot.

    Several campus groups staged the protest outside the Swanlund Administration Building at noon in an effort to pressure school officials to pick a replacement for Chief Illiniwek.

    The university retired the Indian chief mascot in 2007 following NCAA sanctions and years of complaints. The school continues to call its athletics the "Fighting Illini."

    The student groups said they want a new mascot to end what they call an atmosphere of racial tension on campus.

    Another protest and rally is planned for Saturday.  This weekend is Homecoming weekend at the university.