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A new time for SFU Athletics and Recreation
I am writing to inform you of my decision to change the name of Simon Fraser University’s varsity athletics teams, following an extensive stakeholder engagement process. Through this process, launched in January of this year, we have heard resoundingly from our community – and particularly from the student athletes, coaches and associated staff – that it is time to select a new team name.
There are a number of reasons for this change, but the single most important factor influencing my decision is the views of student athletes on this matter. Through our engagement process, students shared stories of unsafe situations, upsetting conversations, and the harm they experience due to misinterpretation and/or misuse of the team name. As a university that has made it a core commitment to foster a supportive environment for our students, we have an obligation to attend to their voices and concerns.
The process to choose a new team name will be led by Athletics and Recreation. You can read a summary of the information on which this decision was based, as well as next steps to choose a new team name, on the Athletics and Recreation website.
As we move away from using the Clan as our team name, I want to stress that we continue to be exceedingly proud of the people, teams and accomplishments associated with the Clan over our long history. The Gaelic word for family was chosen to honour friendship, loyalty and connection, commitments that remain deeply engrained at SFU.
I am very grateful to those who shared their opinions with us. And I want to express my special appreciation to our student athletes, coaches and Athletics and Recreation staff who advanced this issue and worked toward a decision. The conversation has been difficult for many, and I acknowledge and appreciate your determination and fortitude.
It is time now to look forward. In the years to come, we will be hosting games in our new stadium, proudly wearing a team name that represents our vibrant, diverse, compassionate community.