GWU scraps 'Colonials' from student services center after vote to change mascot
- George Washington University announced a new name for on-campus space housing student services.
- The university scrapped "Colonials" references from the areas just months after students voted to change the "Colonials" mascot.
George Washington University announced Monday a new name for the space that houses some of its student services just months after students voted to scrap the college's "Colonials" mascot.
"George Washington University administrators on Thursday debuted the newly-remodeled Student Services Hub during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Marvin Center," a university news release reads. "The Student Services Hub - formerly Colonial Central - located on the ground floor of the Marvin Center is a shared services center where students, families and other members of the GW community can receive support related to financial assistance, student accounts and registration inquiries."
"Student Financial and Registration Services - formerly Colonial Student Services - provides in-person, phone and email support for financial assistance, student accounts and the registrar and works closely with those offices to address student questions or concerns," the release states.
The name changes come just months after Campus Reform reported that students at GWU voted to change the name of the "Colonials" mascot over concerns it was too offensive. In a statement at the time, a GWU spokesperson said, “the university has been following the conversation. The leadership of the University will continue to listen to our students, faculty, staff, and alumni as we study various naming issues.”
But the university has remained relatively quiet as to whether it intends to bow to students' wishes and change the "Colonials" mascot.
Campus Reform reported on a petition to get rid of the "Colonials" mascot in 2018. The petition read, in part, "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. Alternative nickname recommendations are 'Hippos,' 'Revolutionaries,' or 'Riverhorses.'"
George Washington University conservative student groups, however, have pushed back on the change, with the Young Americans for Freedom chapter telling Campus Reform earlier this year, "we believe the Student Association should be focusing on more pertinent issues, such as food insecurity, rather than something superficial like this. The Student Association has proven time and time again that they have little power, which is mostly symbolic in nature. We hope that if this referendum passes, which it might given the historically low turnout in student elections, that the university focuses its resources on more pertinent issues to the student body, rather than divisive ones such as this.”
The College Republicans chapter also weighed in, saying, “changing the mascot allows historical revisionism to undermine the values on which our university was founded and disparages the legacy of our Founding Fathers.”