TCU Daily Skiff Masthead
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
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University name change not necessary
COMMENTARY
Jeff Dennis

In a Skiff editorial Friday, Nathan Winkler argued TCU should remove the word “Christian” from its name because it projects an image to the public which does not represent the university. A name change such as Winkler suggests is not only impractical, but unnecessary as well.

Winkler’s first argument deals with the fundamentalist connotations of the word “Christian” in our modern day society. However, TCU cannot change its name simply because of how popular society might perceive it. This would be similar to the U.S. government threatening a war in an attempt to maintain public favor, and who could ever imagine that happening?

TCU has no requirements of chapel attendance as some Christian schools do, and residence hall visitation and Internet filtration policies are much more lax than many of these schools as well. However, it is not really a problem to our university that persons are surprised that we do not have more strict policies.

The fact that TCU has very little forced religious requirements in no way makes the school less Christian. We give religious freedom to all students, to practice their religion as they see fit, or abstain from it altogether. TCU’s liberal policies in comparison to other Christian schools serve as a statement that Christians do not all have to be fundamentalist, and that they can be open to differing viewpoints, both religious and otherwise.

Changing the name would be highly impractical as well. TCU has name recognition around the country that has been earned over the past hundred years. It would take many years for word to spread that the newly named school was in fact, the university formerly known as TCU.

Certainly, the initials TCU could be maintained, by simply changing what the “C” stands for. TCU’s alternative newspaper The Sniff suggested last spring that it should be changed to “Capitalist,” but clearly that was recommended more as a criticism of TCU than anything. So I guess we’re out of luck with that option.

I understand Winkler’s intentions are good, in that he does not want TCU to suffer in diversity simply because of its name. However, this is a case in which we are better off working with the name we’ve got, rather than starting anew and having to regain the recognition we have already attained, and which is associated with the current name.

Besides, think about the alumni response to a name change of their alma mater. These are the same people who make very large donations to the school every year. If there was a decision to be made between donation money and a name more representative of our school, which one do you think the administration would pick?

Jeff Dennis is a senior sociology major from Gail.

 

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