I have always been proud of my school
. It's small, beautiful, inclusive, understanding, almost oasis-like in Pennsylvania, a center of culture and discourse that I've never experienced elsewhere.
Today we've become even prouder as an institution in dropping our school team name, which referenced the Crusades; a bloody and religiously intolerant period of warfare in the Middle Ages motivated by Papal order (though we are a Lutheran school).
Many alumni however are threatening to withdraw their donations to the school on the basis that they are "Crusaders for life!"
Well, guess what. If you wash your t-shirts carefully they will say the same thing on them. You can go on looking at old pictures of your old teams and the jerseys will stay the same. You no longer attend Susquehanna. You are not representative of the school's current culture or growth. And for those who are simply objecting to "cowing to political correctness" please remember that there is no gun to our heads, there are no liberal lead bullets headed our way if we keep our ignorant name. We are choosing to grow with the world and embrace that our past, while cherished and looked back upon fondly, may not have been wholly correct. And we may have been turning away Muslim students by virtue of maintaining this racist moniker.
Keep your donations, if you only choose to donate because of the former team name. However, if you were donating because you had a great time learning and growing at Susquehanna, your experiences are not invalid because our merch will have a new name on it. We are not changing the name "Susquehanna" and I doubt that you chose to go to Susquehanna initially simply because the team was called what it was. If you did pick your 4 year investment and educational path simply because of that one word, I hope you were educated well and paid your tuition, and can move on with your adult life hopefully unaffected by a school you no longer attend having an inclusive nickname.
I loved Susquehanna. I loved it for the buildings and the lawns. I loved it for the classes and the professors. I loved it because the people I met there were wonderful, brilliant, eccentric, innovative, progressive people. I loved it because I learned there. I loved it because I LIVED there. I grew into an adult who is considerate and service-minded and EDUCATED, and I'm excited to see my school grow into the future more inclusively.
Now, let's pick a name that's exciting, dangerous, and - yes - non-offensive!
(LET'S GO WHEELSHARKS!)