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Imperial Colleges

Imperial Valley College discusses mascot changes

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School officials hope to have a decision made by December.

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Imperial Valley College (IVC) mascot task force says they don’t even know where the “Arab” mascot originated from. Still, they say it's up to the community to decide whether it should represent them.

In the last decade, professional sports team and universities have changed their mascots-dropping caricatures of Native Americans that, for some, dated back almost a century.

“A mascot is where students can identify and if you say you’ve gone to a different type of college if you’ve said you’ve gone to SDSU. I myself went to SDSU, and as such, our mascot it’s a community-building effort,” said Elizabeth Espinoza, Public Information Officer.

Espinoza says they’re asking the whole Imperial Valley community to fill out an online survey, not just current students.

“Almost every person in the Imperial Valley community has attended IVC, knows of IVC, or has a family member that attended IVC. We are very prominent in the community,” said Espinoza.

Espinoza added they have yet to receive input from someone who is Middle Eastern.

The IVC task force says they will present all the data collected in the next board meeting in December. They hope a decision is made by then.

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Gianella Ghiglino

Peruvian-born and LA raised Gianella Ghiglino joins the team from the San Fernando valley. “LA is the place that taught me how to breath and Peru is my breath.” She says she was inspired by the community she grew up in and began documenting her experience through poetry at the age of 7. “I wrote about everything I saw, felt and everything that inspired me.” When she entered High School she joined her school news station and realized that broadcast journalism allowed her to pursue her passion and her purpose all at once. Gianella attended Cal State Northridge and received a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science. She did several internships while in College but most notably interned for PBS’s local LA station for three years. “My purpose is to share my story and of those in my community, my passion is writing.”

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