Letter: Burnaby 'Clansmen' too close to odious 'Klansmen'

I'd like to lend my voice to recent calls to stop using "Clansmen" as the name for SFU sports teams competing in the NCAA Division II.

A bit of background - I attended SFU as an undergraduate in the 1970s and wrote for The Peak, the university student newspaper and successor to The Tartan.

As a reporter, I covered SFU teams competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. As now, SFU was the only Canadian university to compete in an American athletic association.

I appreciate the difficulty faced by SFU's student athletes when they travel and compete in the U.S., given the unfortunate confusion of the Scottish
"clan" and the odious KKK.

So, it's time for a change to protect our student athletes from embarrassment and harassment when they travel south of the boarder.
While SFU ought not to be ashamed of adopting the name of a Scottish explorer and its association with Scottish tradition, a little perspective is in order.

A blog posted by SFU history student Georgia Twiss in November 2018, entitled A Tale of Two Simon Frasers: The Invented and Contested Scottish Tradition of SFU, notes that the university was going to be named "Fraser University" after this region, but it was realized this name would produce the
unfortunate acronym "F.U.", so "Simon" was added, along with imported Scottish Clan history and tradition. I commend your readers to download this excellent think piece by Twiss.
SFU is a fine institution and I hope it will look to its better angels and spare its athletes further humiliation by getting rid of the "Clansmen" moniker.
Lee Rankin, Burnaby

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