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My alma mater (Illinois College) is considering changing mascot and nicknames due to pressure from women

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The nicknames are Blueboys for men and Lady Blues for women. The Blueboy nickname comes from the nickname Union soldiers had during the Civil War. Many alumni and students fought for the Union in the Civil War. Illinois College was also part of the Underground Railroad.

They have a male and female mascot. The male mascot is Union soldier. The female mascot is a woman in a period era hoop dress and bonnet.

N4LdjuB.jpg

Some female alumni and current students have said the mascots are patronizing towards women. They want a new gender neutral nickname and mascot.

I have donated thousands of dollars to Illinois College since I've graduated. I've told them I won't be making any donations in the future if the Blueboy nickname and mascot is retired. They have already lost tens of thousands of dollars just from one alumni for just considering changing the nickname. If they change the nickname and mascot for the women's team, that's fine. There's no need to change them for the men's teams. Below is a link to a newspaper article that was recently written.

http://myjournalcourier.com/news/news/152496667/Illinois-College-investigating-change-to-gendered-nicknames

"Illinois College is exploring the possibility of changing its athletic nicknames to something less gendered.

Stephanie Chipman, vice president of enrollment management at Illinois College, said that input from alumni, students, faculty and staff lead to a task force that will be investigating whether or not the Blueboys and the Lady Blues are the best representatives for IC athletics.

Weve heard their concerns about having gendered nicknames, Chipman said. At the same time we heard concerns about weak logos and branding in the athletic department.

Currently there is no consistent image for the many different branches of Illinois College athletics. Though there are several similar logos and costumes used throughout the department, the task force, consisting of students, alumni and staff, would be investigating the possibility of having one brand that would encompass the department.

Some have stated that the separate Lady Blues nickname is something that female athletes have trouble associating with as well as being patronizing towards women.

On the other hand, some have voiced their concern that the names are part of the colleges history.

The Blueboys nickname has been with the department since 1931 and the Lady Blues was created in 1981.

No matter the outcome of the task force a decision is to be made next year there will be no change to the colleges representative colors of blue and white, Chipman said.

Additionally, the investigation into this matter does not mean that there will be any change at all.

Some are very much in favor of a change of nicknames, Chipman explained. Some are uncertain because they dont know what we would change our name to.

At this stage in the investigation, the task force is accepting suggestions as to what possible nicknames could be and is not currently taking anything off of the list. One suggestion, The Fighting Blues, is similar to a neighboring school and is unlikely to make it to the final cut, Chipman said. However, it has yet to be removed form the list.

Last Tuesday the college held a forum with students to gauge their feelings on the matter. The student input was encouraging, Chipman suggested, and the next step will include mailers and emails to alumni to gauge their thoughts and feelings.

This change is not uncommon for colleges, she said. Western Illinois University also had split separate gendered nicknames before bringing the department under the Leathernecks moniker.

Illinois College is one of 15 colleges in the country that has two separate gendered nicknames in the college that Im aware of, Chipman said. Were in the minority having two gendered nicknames. Its something that we and other schools have identified as an issue.

Chipman said that if a change were made there is no significant cost anticipated."

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The nicknames are Blueboys for men and Lady Blues for women. The Blueboy nickname comes from the nickname Union soldiers had during the Civil War. Many alumni and students fought for the Union in the Civil War. Illinois College was also part of the Underground Railroad.

They have a male and female mascot. The male mascot is Union soldier. The female mascot is a woman in a period era hoop dress and bonnet.

N4LdjuB.jpg

Some female alumni and current students have said the mascots are patronizing towards women. They want a new gender neutral nickname and mascot.

I have donated thousands of dollars to Illinois College since I've graduated. I've told them I won't be making any donations in the future if the Blueboy nickname and mascot is retired. They have already lost tens of thousands of dollars just from one alumni for just considering changing the nickname. If they change the nickname and mascot for the women's team, that's fine. There's no need to change them for the men's teams. Below is a link to a newspaper article that was recently written.

http://myjournalcourier.com/news/news/152496667/Illinois-College-investigating-change-to-gendered-nicknames

"Illinois College is exploring the possibility of changing its athletic nicknames to something less gendered.

Stephanie Chipman, vice president of enrollment management at Illinois College, said that input from alumni, students, faculty and staff lead to a task force that will be investigating whether or not the Blueboys and the Lady Blues are the best representatives for IC athletics.

Weve heard their concerns about having gendered nicknames, Chipman said. At the same time we heard concerns about weak logos and branding in the athletic department.

Currently there is no consistent image for the many different branches of Illinois College athletics. Though there are several similar logos and costumes used throughout the department, the task force, consisting of students, alumni and staff, would be investigating the possibility of having one brand that would encompass the department.

Some have stated that the separate Lady Blues nickname is something that female athletes have trouble associating with as well as being patronizing towards women.

On the other hand, some have voiced their concern that the names are part of the colleges history.

The Blueboys nickname has been with the department since 1931 and the Lady Blues was created in 1981.

No matter the outcome of the task force a decision is to be made next year there will be no change to the colleges representative colors of blue and white, Chipman said.

Additionally, the investigation into this matter does not mean that there will be any change at all.

Some are very much in favor of a change of nicknames, Chipman explained. Some are uncertain because they dont know what we would change our name to.

At this stage in the investigation, the task force is accepting suggestions as to what possible nicknames could be and is not currently taking anything off of the list. One suggestion, The Fighting Blues, is similar to a neighboring school and is unlikely to make it to the final cut, Chipman said. However, it has yet to be removed form the list.

Last Tuesday the college held a forum with students to gauge their feelings on the matter. The student input was encouraging, Chipman suggested, and the next step will include mailers and emails to alumni to gauge their thoughts and feelings.

This change is not uncommon for colleges, she said. Western Illinois University also had split separate gendered nicknames before bringing the department under the Leathernecks moniker.

Illinois College is one of 15 colleges in the country that has two separate gendered nicknames in the college that Im aware of, Chipman said. Were in the minority having two gendered nicknames. Its something that we and other schools have identified as an issue.

Chipman said that if a change were made there is no significant cost anticipated."

Hopefully the threat of losing tons of donation monies from alumni makes them think twice.

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Or perhaps they'll listen to the female students and faculty, instead. Those are your future donors too.

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Also, there were several women who hid their identity and fought for the Union as men in the Civil War, so an argument could be made that the Blueboy mascot is appropriate for the women's teams also. Their nickname could be changed to the Bluegirls.

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Or perhaps they'll listen to the female students and faculty, instead. Those are your future donors too.

There's a real easy solution for the female students who have an issue with the nicknames and mascots. It's called transferring to a different school. They knew all of this before they enrolled.

Also, all of the coaches were asked if this has been an issue when trying to recruit players. All of them said it has never been an issue and has never even been mentioned by a recruit or their family.

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Or perhaps they'll listen to the female students and faculty, instead. Those are your future donors too.

There's a real easy solution for the female students who have an issue with the nicknames and mascots. It's called transferring to a different school. They knew all of this before they enrolled.

Also, all of the coaches were asked if this has been an issue when trying to recruit players. All of them said it has never been an issue and has never even been mentioned by a recruit or their

family.

This is gonna go well.

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I have donated thousands of dollars to Illinois College since I've graduated. I've told them I won't be making any donations in the future if the Blueboy nickname and mascot is retired. They have already lost tens of thousands of dollars just from one alumni for just considering changing the nickname. If they change the nickname and mascot for the women's team, that's fine. There's no need to change them for the men's teams. Below is a link to a newspaper article that was recently written.

Or perhaps they'll listen to the female students and faculty, instead. Those are your future donors too.

There's a real easy solution for the female students who have an issue with the nicknames and mascots. It's called transferring to a different school. They knew all of this before they enrolled.

Also, all of the coaches were asked if this has been an issue when trying to recruit players. All of them said it has never been an issue and has never even been mentioned by a recruit or their family.

This tells me that you don't really care about your school at all, just its athletics. It's just a nickname for christ's sake, and not a very good one regardless of the arguments of the article.

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The answer is to call both teams the Blueboys and to get rid of the female mascot. The team takes its name from the Union soldiers, the Union soldier is the mascot, and women should feel no shame being represented by a male, just as a man shouldn't be ashamed if he played for a team called the Tubmans.

I actually agree that it is patronizing for the women to be singled out with a different nickname and (especially) mascot, but I don't think the solution is to change everything to have a gender-neutral nickname.

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Nothing like some good old misogyny to start the morning.

I could go into a semi-rant, but I won't. Instead, I'll leave you with a little advice. If you're telling women to go :censored: themselves (which you basically are) because they want to attend a school but not be represented by a patronizing mascot from a time when women basically had zero rights, then you're in the wrong.

Also, it's not like changing a name to be gender neutral is going to destroy the foundations of the school. Syracuse is doing okay.

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I stated in a previous post that I had no issue if they want to change the nickname and mascot for the women's teams. However, there's no reason to change the nickname and mascot for the men's teams.

My comment earlier about female students transferring to a different school was meant for those wanting to get rid of the Blueboy nickname and mascot for the men's teams. That's my fault I didn't specify that in the previous post.

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Since the school was predominantly supportive of the Union, that's gender neutral, historical and the students can feel free to continue to use Blue Boys like Auburn and War Eagle. If it's so incredibly important to keep the name that donors quit giving to the school, maybe they need to see what other donors would step forward. There's no perfect answer so likely all those interested parties need to offer compromises.

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Can't they just call all sports teams the Blues?

I don't know. They have a task force that's going to discuss what to do. Making no change is one of the options. They're going to send questionnaires out to all alumni. We will be able to vote for one of the new nicknames, which haven't been announced, or we can vote for no change.

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It also makes sense to have one unifying brand for the university. Multiple mascots - especially one that is blatantly patronizing women - isn't an intelligent solution. If it's Blueboys, cool. If it's Blue Jackets, cool. Regardless, something *should* change if this school wants to be open to all people of all backgrounds.

Sorry, but I think you re way off base in your outrage here.

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Since the school was predominantly supportive of the Union, that's gender neutral, historical and the students can feel free to continue to use Blue Boys like Auburn and War Eagle. If it's so incredibly important to keep the name that donors quit giving to the school, maybe they need to see what other donors would step forward. There's no perfect answer so likely all those interested parties need to offer compromises.

This. My school plays downtown versus on campus in a beautiful new arena (only for women and volleyball) due to pressure from current alums and the city. They're now going to be screwed in the future because nobody is going to give a damn about donating because school morale is low.

As much as current donations matter, so do future.

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I don't think the mascot is necessarily* patronizing towards women. I think one of the downsides of modern feminism is that they look down on the housewife. Even with that aside, the women of the Civil War era weren't just ordinary housewives... they were the Rosie the Riveter of their day. With so many men fighting, they had to keep homes, farms, businesses, etc. running. Keeping things functioning away from the battlefields is/was incredibly important; that's why it's called the home front. Could they change the costume up a little bit to make it look less like 1860s Suzy Homemaker? Probably, but it's a group of people that's worthy of honor and shouldn't be looked down upon.

*They could do things with the mascot that would make it patronizing, but I don't have any problem with the idea.

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This could get dangerously close to the Washington Redskins flareups. Keep the discussion civil (heh) or action will be taken. Thank you.

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mod edit

Edited by Ice_Cap
nope. this is exactly the kind of comment we don't need here.

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Nothing like some good old misogyny to start the morning.

I could go into a semi-rant, but I won't. Instead, I'll leave you with a little advice. If you're telling women to go :censored: themselves (which you basically are) because they want to attend a school but not be represented by a patronizing mascot from a time when women basically had zero rights, then you're in the wrong.

Also, it's not like changing a name to be gender neutral is going to destroy the foundations of the school. Syracuse is doing okay.

Syracuse is doing okay ? I beg to differ, they were the Orangemen derived from the Irish and Scottish Protestant fraternal organization, now they are named after something you eat or a color, talk about throwing 100+ years of history down the toilet

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