Monday, February 18, 2013

UIS alums asked whether sports teams need new nickname

The Student Government Association at the University of Illinois Springfield is asking alumni to chime in on whether the school should change its sports teams’ nickname from the Prairie Stars.

An email went out last week asking alumni to share their opinions via Facebook or email.

“The task force that’s considering this wanted to reach out to all members of the UIS community,” said Ryan Bouray, SGA president. “We don’t want any hasty decisions.”

The SGA last fall began asking students how they felt about the Prairie Stars nickname for the school’s athletic teams. The name dates to 1977 and came at the suggestion of John Watts, godfather of soccer in Springfield. Soccer was the first sport offered at UIS, which was then Sangamon State University.

It refers to either a flower or simply stars of the prairie, depending on who you talk to.

The student newspaper ran a poll in October, and The State Journal-Register ran an online poll the same month.

In the SJ-R online poll, 53 percent said to keep Prairie Stars, 11 percent said drop the “Prairie” and call the teams just “Stars,” and 35 percent said change the nickname completely. There were 468 responses.

The story was featured by The State Journal-Register on February 17, 2013.

Read the story online