After mountains of community feedback, Red Deer College has decided to keep the Kings and Queens as the names of its sports teams.
Based on feedback from online surveys, email and direct communication, the school heard from more than 1,000 people and has chosen to keep the Kings and Queen names for its athletics during the transition to Red Deer University.
“For everyone who shared your positive feedback and your support of our extensive athletics community, thank you. We have heard you,” said RDC president Peter Nunoda in a press release Thursday.
“Reflecting on this process, we recognize that we needed to reach out to you sooner for your feedback on what Red Deer University athletics should look like, before deciding that we would change the names.
“We’re sorry for initially overlooking that step.”
With the decision to stick with the names, the school has cancelled the Feb. 11 community consultation.
In early January, RDC issued a press release stating that as part of the transition to a university, they would “take the opportunity to rebrand and rename the Kings and Queens teams.”
The process was supposed to take place in several steps, with online surveys and a consultation session to help select names “that are not gender based,” and provide one common name for men’s, women’s and mixed teams.
Nunoda said the decision to keep the names was based on extensive feedback, and not the negative conversation the proposed rebranding sparked online.
“It was never our intention to start this type of negative conversation, and we acknowledge that a number of people were impacted and hurt on a personal, organizational and community level. Inclusiveness is and will continue to be one of our values, and we stand behind that,” he said in the release.
In January, we announced a process to rename our @rdcathletics teams as we prepare to become Red Deer University. We are sorry. We recognize we needed to reach out to you sooner for your feedback on what RDU Athletics should look like, before deciding we would change the names. pic.twitter.com/P1ZEhWot37
— Red Deer College (@RedDeerCollege) February 6, 2020