On Friday, the school’s athletics department reiterated its commitment to a review and provided more details on the schedule.
According to soccer player Paolo Lujan, who was at the meeting, the school said the process was stalled, but that it has become urgent due to widespread protests against racism caused by the murder of George Floyd.
“Almost everything was on hold due to COVID, but now with the rise of Black Lives Matter and everything that is happening in the United States, it has now become a priority,” he said.
“I really feel like they are trying to make a change for the better. I can say that this is a considerable improvement over previous years. We can see that the school has been better informed about the problems. ”
A petition launched by a student athlete in June to advocate for a name change has since garnered nearly 10,000 signatures.
RELATED: ‘Extreme Embarrassment When Name Appears’: SFU Athlete Advocates Changing ‘Clan’ Team Name
The school says it will consult with alumni, athletes, staff, and student groups like the SFU African Student Association over the summer.
“SFU Athletics will provide a report to the president in August and a decision will be shared before the start of the fall session,” said an article on the website.
“The SFU athletes compete in the United States as the only Canadian NCAA team, and we are aware that some have made poor associations between our Scottish nickname and the Ku Klux Klan. The university is deeply troubled and attentive to the emotions and concerns that these associations have aroused and to the impact they have on our athletes. “
This is a big step for the name change @SFUClan. However, we don’t stop until it is set in stone. Until this document is signed by Petter – we continue to apply this pressure. pic.twitter.com/ItfXibLmy6
– prince of all saiyans (@OthnielSpence) July 4, 2020
Lujan explains that athletes are often forced to explain or defend the origin of the name.
“Whenever we go to the United States, even if we explain to them a lot of people don’t seem to really understand that. The name – it changes once you arrive in the United States. It is not “the Clan” that we think we are, it is not unity, it is not family. It was the white supremacist group that committed horrific crimes. We did not want to get rid of the Scottish heritage. It is not our plan. Our plan is to be able to represent Canada, to represent our school appropriately, and it’s very difficult to do when the name is twisted, when the name is linked to a hate group, ”he says.
“When we go to the United States, many student athletes are threatened. They scoff at this name, they scoff at our student athletes. Right now, we also want to change the name of preventive measures to protect our student athletes, because who knows how people can react, especially right now with what’s going on in the United States. ”
Although the school has not committed to changing the name, Lujan says he is optimistic.
“It has become a priority and you can see that the school is moving urgently now. I feel pretty confident and I hope the name can be changed before the start of the season. ”
For Lujan, it is important to advocate for the name change in order to support the black student-athletes who spoke about the effect of the name on them.
“I understand my teammates and I will fight for them. A family is going to be a family whatever its name. “
I appreciate the victories we have had with the name change movement. But it is not over until the President signs this document. Kobe taught me not to be complacent until the job is done. @OthnielSpence pic.twitter.com/Dfk2LQ1dG0
– Mason Glover (@ FreshGlove_10) July 4, 2020