Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Villanova considering a nickname, mascot change

Will D. Cat: On his way out?
Ever since a school-wide contest in 1926, all of Villanova's varsity sports teams have been known as the Wildcats. While the appearance of the mascot has changed over the years, from four live wildcats named Count Villan up to the death of the final one in 1950, to a student wearing a wildcat costume. In the last ten years, the Villanova Wildcat was named Will D. Cat, a rather lazy effort at naming a university icon, but it is nonetheless embraced by the Villanova community.

So given the 88 year history of Villanova sports teams being named the Wildcats, it would be safe to assume that changing the nickname of the school's sports teams would be a total nonstarter, right? Wrong, because a small, but influential group of faculty members, mostly from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently took a stand in a meeting with the president and board of trustees demanding that Villanova change its nickname because it perpetuates a stereotype of animals as violent beasts that are meant for human entertainment rather than having their own agency. While the proposal was initially laughed off by administration, especially in the athletic department, more faculty members have attached themselves to the cause, and the school is now seriously considering retiring the Villanova Wildcat.

Normally, I would tell you to make a lot of noise about this to influence Father Peter and the BoT, but it's April Fool's Day, and they would have no idea what you were talking about if you brought it up.

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