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Historic Christian university drops Crusader mascot due to 'negative connotation'

School says decision was impelled by "negative connotation and violence" assocaited with Crusader imagery.

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The Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University
The Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University
(Jeff Greenberg/Getty)
Updated: February 13, 2021 - 5:17pm

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Valparaiso University, an historic Christian institution in Valparaiso, Indiana, is dropping its Christian "Crusader" mascot out of concerns that retaining it might promote violence and other undesirable associations.

The school finalized the decision this week "after what has been a decades-long debate that has intensified during the past several years," the university said in a blog post.

"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,” school Interim President Colette Irwin-Knott said of the decision. 

The school "will retire its Crusader imagery and logos over the coming months, while simultaneously forming a committee to engage the campus community in considering and adopting a new mascot," the blog post announced. 

Referring to the decision—supported by resolutions from the faculty and student senates—Student Body President Kaitlyn Steinhiser said: “The Student Senate feels that the purpose of a school mascot is for school spirit and to represent Valpo values, and the Crusader does not do that effectively.”

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