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University Drops “Crusaders” Mascot; “Squirrels” Tops Poll for Replacement

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/07/15

Really?  Really: 

Following a vote from the Board of Trustees, Susquehanna University is the latest institution whose mascot, the Crusaders, must go due to concern over potential offensiveness and negative connotations. Citing “growing concern and sensitivity” to ensure sure the campus remains “welcoming and inclusive,” SU President L. Jay Lemons addressed the student body in a  sent via e-mail September 25 explaining the history and use of the mascot. …History professor Linda McMillan explains in the video that the “historical reality” of the mascot’s connotation is the violence and warfare sanctioned by the pope and aimed against “the other” and “primarily Islam.” She adds that when discussing the historical Crusades in her history classes, the reaction among students has been “increasingly uncomfortable” post 9/11 when she also brings up thoughts on “Crusader” being the school mascot. “Just as the word Jihad falls on western ears in a particular way, so too ’Crusades’ creates discomfort when heard by Muslims” McMillan said. …Talk about a potential replacement mascot has begun. Last spring, the Susquehanna University student government ran a poll among the student body with a squirrel winning by over 50 percent of the votes. “I don’t know if squirrels are exactly that presence that we needed,” said Junior Paris Campbell to the student newspaper, also titled The Crusader.

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