“Our view” is prepared by the Executive board and should be considered the
institutional voice of The Record
By Meredith Jarchow, Sean Kelly, Brett Zallek and Nick Swanson
When referring to friends and alumni, we regularly use “Bennie” and “Johnnie” as identifiers. However, there has been some confusion as of late when referring to our Bennie sports teams.
What happened to the “Blazer” name?
To our best knowledge, there is not a clear answer. The Blazers logo has been removed from the mural in the HCC, the floor in Claire Lynch Hall and nearly all women’s teams’ uniforms (excluding hockey). The brand new College Avenue Athletic Complex only features the teams’ new “Saint Benedict” logo. “Blazer” does not appear in any CSB Athletics news briefs and was removed from social media handles, but it is prominently in the csbblazers.com website address. The list goes on.
A clear rebranding effort has occurred. In the article “CSB may drop ‘Blazer’ name” in the April 29, 2016 issue, CSB Athletic Director Glenn Werner said via email that “Our goal is to provide a look both visually and written that best reflects the CSB brand within CSB Athletics… Our goal is to better align the CSB athletic look to the CSB brand.” At the time it was still uncertain if the Blazer name would be dropped, but Werner mentioned that input would be obtained from students and key stakeholders. However, the rebranding effort is still unclear.
Our frustration is not with the fact that the Blazer name is less visible or possibly gone. Rather, it is with the lack of transparency we have been given. Students have not received any communication to explain the changes they have seen all around campus and it has left supporters confused. Usually a major change like this would be prefaced with a campus wide email, but students have yet to receive any clear communication on the matter.
Being a Blazer has been central to CSB Varsity athletes’ identity for decades. The Blazer name was originally decided on through a “nickname contest” in 1976. With headlines in the CSB newspaper at the time, The Cable, such as “Blazermania burns up CSB” and a pep group by the name of the Burn Unit, similar to the Rat Pak, the mascot was used to bolster support of women’s athletics. With the passing of Title IX four years prior, which granted more equality for women in college athletics, the Blazer identity helped promote school pride. But today, the increasing absence of the Blazer name has supporters and athletes alike questioning when the name will be gone for good and how to cheer on CSB athletes at games.
CSB Athletics’ rebranding effort is being undermined by their own lack of public acknowledgement for it. Trying to align with the St. Ben’s brand is understandable; we just want to know how to refer to our athletes.
They should approach this decision like a good coach—by making a decisive call.