Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in Danbury announced that following a multi-year discussion that included town halls and online balloting, the school will now identify as the “Wolves.”
The Wolves nickname replaces “Colonial Chuck,” who reportedly raised concern for its representation of a violent period in American history by representing a minuteman from the Revolutionary War.
That mascot had been intended to temporarily represent the school for the 1976 bicentennial. Prior to it, WCSU’s mascot was the Indians.
Founded in 1903 as the Danbury Normal School, WCSU has undergone multiple name changes and logo variations in its 119-year history, with the new mascot identity “completing its transformation from a 20th Century teachers’ college to a 21st Century regional state university.”
A committee co-chaired by Student Government (SGA) President Patrick Moody, a Digital & Interactive Marketing major from Bethlehem, and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services Jay Murray “solicited input from a wide swath of the university’s constituents leading up to the final announcement,” officials said.
According to Moody, “in June 2019, WCSU President John Clark tasked a committee to select and adopt a new mascot identity.
“The Mascot Advisory Committee was created and began working toward a final ballot to the community where a new mascot identity would be chosen,” he added. “The most recent roster of the committee consisted of four students and six staff/administration.”
In total, the Committee decided between five options that came from the community over the past two years.
“The five mascot options on the final ballot were derived from submissions from the community in town halls and previous ballots that have taken place in the past two years,” Moody continued.
“The committee then consulted with Connecticut Board of Regents (BOR) legal staff, a representative of the Mohegan Tribe in Eastern Connecticut, and an educator from the Institute for American Indian Studies to consider the cultural and legal implications of the five identities.”
In total, WCSU said that more than 27,000 students, alumni, emeriti, faculty, and staff received an email in late March from the Mascot Advisory Committee containing the final five options and a unique voting link that allowed each individual to vote only once, with nearly 3,000 responses.
Of those responses, 51 percent were students, 39 percent were alumni, and 10 percent represented faculty and staff members.
Those who voted overwhelmingly chose the Wolves as the top pick, with 49 percent choosing it among the five options.
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