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George Washington University Dropping ‘Colonials’ Nickname


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George Washington University dumps ‘Colonials’ nickname

George Washington University, located in the heart of the nation’s capital, is ditching the moniker “Colonials” in favor of a campus-wide nickname that will better “unite” the campus community.

The decision was announced Wednesday by the Office of the President after the Board of Trustees voted to toss the name, a move that came at the recommendation of The Board and Special Committee on the Colonials Moniker.

“The Board and Special Committee determined that given the division among the community about the moniker, it can no longer serve its purpose as a name that unifies,” the announcement read. “The university is now undertaking a process to engage the community on choosing a new moniker.”

“Colonials” is expected to be retired by the 2023-2024 academic year.

A 31-page report accused the word of having negative undertones associated with “colonization.”

“‘Colonials’ means colonizers (both here and abroad) and refers to those who stole land from indigenous groups, plundered their resources, murdered and exiled Native peoples, and introduced slavery into the colonies,” the report stated.

The report claims that “a little over half” of the GWU community opposes the moniker, but notes that supporters of its use associate “Colonials” “with those who lived in the colonies” and fought in the Revolutionary War.

“These are perspectives that cannot be easily harmonized,” the report noted.

The committee voted 13-1 to advise university leadership to retire the moniker to preserve “university unity” and promote “university values.”

GWU College Republicans Chairman Ezra Meyer told Campus Reform that the decision was “disappointing and polarizing.”



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