Opinion: Quinnipiac University should embrace links to tribe

"Quinnipiac University's name is derived from the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the New Haven, Conn. area. It is now my third year at Quinnipiac and I have never heard of anyone associating this fact with the University.

Until 2001, Quinnipiac's athletic teams were the Braves, which they have changed to the Bobcats. This is one small step to dissimilate Quinnipiac's affiliation with the group of people that gave the University its name.

When researching the history of QU on their website, there is no distinct, definitive reference to the Native American tribe. It solely mentions that it is derived from the tribe, Quinnipiack, but is uncertain about the actual meaning.

The University's name was not chosen out of respect for the people that once lived in the area, but because Quinnipiack is believed to mean "a turning point."

The website also references the Sleeping Giant, the mountain that is a fixture in every Quinnipiac student's experience. However, it is brief on the significance on the mountain and only mentions how it "is a major figure in centuries-old Native American mythology." The story should be told.

When the change of mascots occurred, Quinnipiac said, "use of American Indian mascots gives the public a stereotypical and historically incorrect perception of American Indians."

However, Quinnipiac has no acknowledged ties to the Native American people. This, in a manner of speaking, is killing the legend of these humans. It may not be physical, but allows for a mental void of knowledge to exist."

Get the Story:
Melissa Gorman: Editor Speaks Out: Quinnipiac’s Heritage (The Quad News 10/12)

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