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Susquehanna University Drops ‘Crusader’ from Nickname

SELINSGROVE — For almost 100 years, Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove has been known as “The Crusaders.” But not anymore. The university&#...

SELINSGROVE -- For almost 100 years, Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove has been known as "The Crusaders."

But not anymore. The university's board of trustees just voted to replace the longtime nickname and mascot.

In recent years, the school started to distance itself from the name Crusaders. It even dropped the "knight" mascot and replaced it with a tiger in the 1990s.

In a news release the university wrote, "Many critics of the term Crusader feel that connotations of the word -- related to the medieval crusaders who used violence in the name of religion -- are at odds with the university's commitment to embracing and respecting difference. "

Newswatch 16 spoke with many different students at Susquehanna University and each one has a different opinion on the name change.

"It's something that needed to be done and as long as we keep Crusaders on things that already happened, like football teams from the past, which I've heard they're doing, then alumni relations should be good as well," James Kunz said.

"I think it might cause more trouble than it's worth. I think a lot of people have strong opinions about it though, so I think if it's offensive in any way towards anyone, then I think we should change it," Lileas Maier said.

University officials say the vote happened now because many students travel to countries where the word "crusader" is considered offensive.

"As a Crusader for three years now, I kind of see myself as a crusader, but not in that historical sense that people think the crusader might be," Jeff Higbee said.

Susquehanna University says it hopes to change the name and mascot by next spring.