Monday, December 16, 2013

UIS alumni: Don't change Prairie Stars nickname

University of Illinois Springfield alumna Dana Goodrum wore with pride a blue “Prairie Stars” T-shirt Saturday during back-to-back basketball games at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

She’s one of the 510 UIS alumni who have signed an online petition opposing changing the schools’s athletic teams’ nickname, which dates back to 1977. Goodrum encouraged current students and alumni on Saturday to don “Prairie Star Pride” stickers and wave signs supporting the long-standing nickname.

“Our presence today alone, I think we’ve delivered a big enough message to the chancellor and to the community,” she said. The process of exploring alternatives to the Prairie Stars nickname began last year, when the Student Government Association conducted an on-campus survey that indicated 75 percent of respondents wanted a change.

Goodrum and another alumni representative, Shelly Runyard, handed a printout of the petition to UIS Chancellor Susan Koch and Student Government Association president Aaron Mulvey before Saturday’s games. Goodrum said Koch and Mulvey were “very attentive” and listened to their concerns.

The task force formed to analyze the potential name change is expected to submit a report to the chancellor within a month. Koch is expected to make a decision early next year.

The story was published on December 15, 2013 in The State Journal-Register.

 Read the article on line