Valparaiso University decides to replace the nickname accepted by hate groups


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VALPARAISO, Ind. – Valparaiso University announced on Tuesday that it has adopted Beacons as the new name for the team that replaced the Crusaders, school officials gave up this year after saying it was accepted by hate groups.

The president of the university, José D. Padilla, said the new nickname of the private Lutheran school “is directly related to the University’s motto” We see light in your light “and represents the community of Valparaiso University in many ways.”

“We are beacons of knowledge for the academic, social and spiritual growth of our students. Above all, we are beacons of God’s light throughout the world. We illuminate the path for our students so that once they graduate, they shine their light for others,” Padilla said in a statement. for the public.

School officials announced in February that they had retired the Crusaders name based on data from students, faculty and alumni.

The decision came after decades of debate that has recently intensified as groups like the Ku Klux Klan began using the words and symbols of the Crusades, which were a series of bloody religious wars that began in the 11th century between Christians and Muslims.

For years, Valp’s sports mascot was a figure with a helmet in fake armor. But school and student senates passed resolutions calling for change, and the university board supported a reassessment of the appropriateness of the team name.

The Beacons were selected after a months-long process involving nearly 1,000 proposals and contributions from students, student-athletes, faculty, staff and alumni at the 3,100-university university, located in Valparaiso, about 15 miles southeast of Gary.

A new nickname, a new mascot and related images will be gradually introduced during the 2021-22 academic year. Years, and Valparaiso’s inter-class athletic teams will immediately be known as the Beacons, the school said.

Many university signs and logos, including its colors and “Shield of Character”, will remain part of the university brand, school officials said.

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