The Vanier College athletic teams have achieved extraordinary results since their creation, and they continue to be the best teams on many fields and courts. The Cheetahs basketball and football teams have been exceptional recently in their participation in regional playoffs.
However, many Vanier students find the name “Cheetahs” to be too disconnected as most of the students have never seen a real Cheetah. In fact, Cheetahs are mammals who are wildly present in parts of the Africa and Iran, but their footpaths are non-existent in North America. The only places where we can see the endangered animal in North America is in zoos.
After the college’s consultation with students, athletes, and coaches, the decision of changing the name to “Vanier Squirrels” has been finalized. In an e-mail exchange with the Vanier Insider, the college administration says it wants the name of the athletic teams to “reflect our identity” and that “squirrels are the best suited animal to do so”.
The college also states that squirrels are statistically the most present wild animal on our campus, and students typically interact with them joyfully.
In an interview with the Vanier athletics department, their representative told The Insider that new jerseys and other sporting apparel is now in the design process, and will be issued by next semester, in time for the new academic year. They also told us that the gym will be remodeled to “more closely resemble the essence of squirrels”, and a bronze squirrel statue has been commissioned to be made and would be placed in front of the sports complex.
In response to the name change, the students we have interviewed showed positive reactions overwhelmingly. “Oh I love squirrels!” says Amanda, a current student at the college, “They are so cute and I really love them around the campus, so why not have it as our sports team?”
Adam, a former Vanier student recalls how squirrels are meaningful to students: “Squirrels were the most well-known animal to us, they are literally everywhere in the campus and all of us had to deal with them, especially in summer. It’s the thing that reminds me the most of Vanier. I honestly can’t think of a better name other than The Vanier Squirrels.” As for athletes, their reactions are the same. “Let’s steal the ball like squirrels steal our food!” said Aaron, a member of the basketball team.
More details concerning the new squirrel logo design are soon to come, and students and staff alike are eagerly awaiting further information.
Written by: Yinong Zhang