Phi Beta Cons

One More College Decides to Drop Politically Incorrect Nickname

Late last year, the University of North Dakota dumped its old name for its sports team (The Fighting Sioux) because it might offend some people. The new year brings more of the same, as Susquehanna University is in the midst of dropping “The Crusaders” in favor of something that won’t be offensive or exclusionary. Read all about it in this New York Post story.

Why? It’s the usual stuff we hear from higher education leaders — the Crusaders name (although it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the Crusades, but instead the efforts of the school’s athletic director to restore integrity to intercollegiate sports back in 1924) has to go because it’s “at odds with the university’s commitment to building an inclusive campus where individuals of all culture are welcome.”

Exactly how many students have ever considered Susquehanna but then thought, “Oh, they call their teams The Crusaders and that makes me feel unwelcome”?  I think it’s zero, even in this day of extraordinary sensitivity to, well, everything. The costs involved in making the change will be pretty small, but the benefits, I submit, will be purely imaginary.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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