George Washington University has quietly begun removing references to its “Colonials” mascot after students argued earlier this year that the mascot represents “oppression.”
According to a report by the Young America’s Foundation, George Washington University has been slowly removing references to its popular “Colonials” mascot. Breitbart News reported in February that students at the university started a petition which argued that the “Colonials” mascot has a problematic “connection to colonization” and “systematic oppression.”
The petition, which received over 500 student signatures, argued that the “Colonials” mascot is “extremely offensive.” “We, as students of the George Washington University, believe it is of great exigence that the University changes its official mascot,” the petition read, “The use of ‘Colonials,’ no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation and world at large.”
“The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression,” the petition added, “Alternative nickname recommendations are ‘Hippos,’ ‘Revolutionaries,’ or ‘Riverhorses.’
Breitbart News reported in April that a majority of students participated in a referendum at George Washington University voted to end the use of the “Colonials” mascot. Of the 5,000 students that voted in the referendum, 54 percent voted against the continued use of the mascot. The university initially took no action on the vote, as late as two months after the petition the university still had “no comment” on the student’s demands.
Now, George Washington University has slowly started its process of removing the mascot from campus. In one example, the student center for registration and financial services was renamed from “Colonial Central” to “Student Services Hub.” A student organization that encourages students to attend university athletic events recently changed its name from “Colonial Army” to “George’s Army.” However, the organization claims that the recent referendum did not influence their decision to change the name.
Additionally, the student group “Colonial Army,” which draws students to attend sporting events for the school, rebranded itself “George’s Army.” The group claims the name change had nothing to do with the recent referendum and the movement to remove the colonial name from GW’s campus, and according to the Hatchet, hoped it would “remedy the group’s declining participation at basketball games.”
In a recent video by Campus Reform, George Washington University students claimed they are not proud to be American.