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The New Guard

Virginia College to Re-Examine Offensive “Wasp” Mascot

By

Kara Zupkus

July 1, 2020

Emory & Henry College in Virginia has announced to students the school will re-examine its wasp mascot (i.e., a bug) as it may be “exclusive” to students who are not White Anglo-Saxon Protestants “WASPs.”

“Conversations must examine how Emory & Henry’s past has contributed to current and ongoing systemic oppression,” said Dr. John Wells, president of Emory & Henry College, according to the email obtained by Young America’s Foundation. “For example, discussion should be renewed regarding College’s mascot, the wasp, and the impact of this mascot on inclusion and diversity on our campus.”

YAF obtained a subsequent email from the college’s alumni director, where it was explained that “the little wasp itself isn’t offensive, but the acronym WASP stands for White Anglo Saxon Protestant… it stands to make us seem exclusive of those not in that category.”

The initial email from the administration also states that the college will re-examine building names, publicly displayed portraits, and statues that “point to ties to slavery.” Decisions over potential removals of these figures will involve “students, alumni, and other stakeholders.”

This decision is beyond parody. The college’s mascot is clearly in reference to a wasp–the literal insect, not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. This school’s administration is seeking out any and all reasons students may be offended by something. A bug seems like it should be the least of their worries.

This story was received via a tip through YAF’s Campus Bias Tip Line. Are you facing bias or discrimination on your campus? Let YAF know!

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