Indiana’s Valparaiso University announced it is dropping its team name, the Crusaders, because “hate groups” often embrace the word to describe themselves.
The college said it was canceling its team name and all logos and mascots associated with it in a Thursday statement.
“The negative connotation and violence associated with the Crusader imagery are not reflective of Valpo’s mission, and values, which promote a welcoming and inclusive community,” interim president Colette Irwin-Knott said in a statement. “This is the decision that best reflects our values and community.”
The school’s student senate and the faculty passed resolutions calling for the nickname to be dropped and a new name to be chosen.
“Valpo is and always has been a faith-based institution, and we want to make sure our symbolism is in alignment with our beliefs and speaks to the core values of the Lutheran ethos,” Irwin-Knott added.
“At Valpo, we strive to seek truth, serve generously and cultivate hope. We do not believe having the Crusader as our mascot portrays these values,” he said.
Incoming university president Jose D. Padilla is set to preside over a committee to address the name change.
The school has debated the idea of changing the name for years, but the change was kicked into gear after the Ku Klux Klan began embracing the word “crusaders.”
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