Opinion: SFU should change its stupid Clan nickname and not for the reason you think

Sep 27 2017, 3:08 am

Just change the name already.

SFU’s nickname used for collegiate sports, the Clan, has been under fire ever since professor Holly Andersen started a petition to change the name.

The Clan, named after the Scottish Clan, can get confused with the ‘Klan’ of the white supremacist group in the United States argues Andersen. The meaning of the word has certainly changed for many students of schools that SFU plays against in the NCAA.

Given recent Neo-Nazi and Klan rallies in the United States, SFU should move away from the Clan name, she claims. “We can do better,” she says.

You know what? She’s right.

And it has nothing to do with the KKK.

Whether you think SFU should its their name because of the confusing nature of ‘Clan’ versus ‘Klan’ or not – it was a decisive issue on our Facebook page – there’s a more obvious point to be made here.

The Clan nickname sucks.

SFU is a school I know well, having graduated from there a decade ago. I got a great education from there, and I hope all of their sports teams excel.

When I went to school at the Burnaby campus, I didn’t think much of the nickname ‘Clan’, and that’s sort of the point. It’s a terrible name on its own, without the help of any racists in the United States.

When I was enrolled at Simon Fraser, most students probably didn’t even realize we had a school nickname. You didn’t see it displayed in many places.

The name ‘Clan’ doesn’t lend itself to a logo, or chant. It’s also a confusing name, because the meaning is not obvious to many given that many people aren’t familiar with the Scottish Clan history.

As an aside, SFU does have a completely underrated mascot that has nothing to do with the name Clan. McFogg the Dog, a moustached dog in a traditional Scottish kilt and hat, represents the school.

mcfog the dog

Image: SFU

So keep McFogg, but the Clan’s gotta go.

When filtering through photos of SFU’s sports teams, it’s hard to find an image where the word ‘Clan’ is displayed. Most teams choose to go with “SFU” or “Simon Fraser” on their jerseys.

So if you’re against Simon Fraser University moving away from the Clan nickname, I have one question: why? Why keep a nickname that doesn’t seem to hold much value with anyone on campus?

SFU, this is your chance. The fact that people are connecting it to the KKK is an opportunity, not a problem!

Change it to something better – it won’t be hard.

Want to keep the Scottish connection? Be the SFU Highlanders.

It’s always foggy on top of Burnaby Mountain, why not be the SFU Fog? It would certainly help students to connect with McFogg the Dog.

How about picking an animal, so you can finally get a cool mascot? There are many on Burnaby Mountain that would be appropriate. SFU Eagles? Bears? Cougars?

How about the Simon Fraser Racoons? You get some alliteration in there, plus students could come to games with bandit masks on.

SFU is a great school. It just needs a better nickname.

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