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George Washington University Students Try to Cancel the Word ‘Colonial’ on Campus

George Washington University Students Try to Cancel the Word ‘Colonial’ on Campus

“the Anything but Colonial Coalition”

The term ‘colonial’ is part of the culture at GWU, tracing back to its founding. My theory is that this campaign is a test run for the real goal, which will be to cancel George Washington.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

George Washington Colonial Under Fire

The term “Colonial” used to grace (or disgrace, depending on where you fall) mugs, expensive T-shirts and community spaces across George Washington University’s downtown D.C. campus.

However, that tradition seems to be changing.

Student groups have been advocating for the transition for some time now. On one side of the argument, GWU fans and alumni say that the term is traditional and respectful of the university’s origins. (GWU was founded through congressional charter, and the term “Colonial” was used as homage to American colonists.)

Those that want to leave the outdated term behind say that it is representative of ethnic violence, genocide and racism.

This past April, students passed a referendum requesting the university to change the widely used nickname. The initiative was approved by 54 percent of student voters, or 2,700 participants, while 2,100 students voted against the change, bringing the total number of participants to less than half the student body.

The referendum followed a student petition that had gathered over 500 signatures.

Proposed alternatives include the “Revolutionaries,” “Hippos” and the “Riverhorses,” the latter two after a famous statue of a hippopotamus on campus often cited as an unofficial mascot.

André Gonzales, student association senate pro tempore and co-chair of the Anything but Colonial Coalition, summarized how last spring the GWU Student Association called for the university to form a task force of campus stakeholders to discuss changing the moniker. The task force has yet to be formed, but Gonzales and other senators have been meeting with members of the administration to move things forward.


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JackinSilverSpring | September 6, 2019 at 10:51 am

Waiting on Yale U to change its name, insofar as Elias Yale was a slavetrader, and for Duke to change its name because Duke was a slaveholder.

Request denied, snowflakes.