George Washington University (GWU), located in the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., is a private university whose mascot is George the Colonial. In other words, the mascot represents America’s first president, George Washington.
But, in a recent vote, fifty-four percent of GWU students voted to “remove and replace” the Colonial mascot. But, there is no indication that there is a mascot in the wings waiting to replace George the Colonial.
The mascot change idea began in 2018, when then-student association president Ashley Le pushed an online petition to replace the mascot. The petition itself only received five hundred signatures, which is miniscule when looking at the number of 12,000 students on-campus and the university’s alumni network. This year, a student senator, Haley Margolis, also pushed for the mascot change. She organized a panel event, entitled, “Is the GW Colonial Inclusive School Spirit?” To her, “school spirit is something that should be based on equality.”
However, neither Le nor Margolis addressed the issue of selling this potential mascot change to donors and alumni, which has pressured other universities to think twice about mascot changes.
It appears that some select students at GWU have confused America’s colonial history with anti-colonialism, and are willing to change the school’s mascot to prove they care about diversity and inclusion.