The culture war is being won by people who value culture, history, and knowledge. Valparaiso University, a 3,100-student Lutheran school located in northwest Indiana, announced that it is dropping the team name Crusaders, the school mascot, and all logos associated with the term.
The decision comes after a decades-long debate that had intensified recently because groups such as the Ku Klux Klan began using the Crusader symbols and words. The school’s faculty and student senates each passed resolutions calling for the change and the university’s alumni board of directors supported reassessing the appropriateness of the team name.
The Crusades were a series of bloody religious wars starting in the 11th century between Christians and Muslims.
“The negative connotation and violence associated with the Crusader imagery are not reflective of Valpo’s mission and values, which promote a welcoming and inclusive community,” interim president Colette Irwin-Knott said.
“Valpo is and always has been a faith-based institution, and we want to make sure our symbolism is in alignment with our beliefs and speaks to the core values of the Lutheran ethos,” she said. “At Valpo, we strive to seek truth, serve generously and cultivate hope. We do not believe having the Crusader as our mascot portrays these values.”
In related news, Valpo has always been a strong basketball school.