For 88 years, the masthead of St. Peter’s College’s pupil newspaper has borne the title “The Pauw Wow.”
Its namesake, Michiel Pauw, was a seventeenth century Dutch service provider and colonial official among the many earliest white landowners in modern-day Jersey Metropolis.
However earlier this month, editorial workers on the college introduced that the newspaper would change its title to the “Saint Peter’s Tribune,” citing Pauw’s participation “in programs of cruelty and oppression in opposition to Indigenous and African peoples.”
“As a college — and clearly our paper is student-led — we felt that it didn’t coincide with our values and we felt that the title change wanted to occur,” mentioned Victoria Bishop-Smith, a senior communications main and the paper’s editor-in-chief.
The motion to rename the newspaper started final yr amid a nationwide reckoning over racial justice within the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
Over the previous yr, officers throughout the nation have renamed dozens of colleges, buildings, streets, and parks named for historic figures who held views now deemed racist or offensive.
Final September, Saint Peter’s pupil group College students for Peace and Justice issued a listing of calls for for the college to turn into extra inclusive. The record included, amongst different issues, the renaming of the newspaper.
On the time, Gineen Abuali, a historical past and political science main and the newspaper’s opinion editor, printed an editorial titled “Hypocrisy and Institutional Racism: The Historical past Behind the Pauw Wow’s Identify and Why We Should Change It.”
Citing historians, Abuali wrote that Pauw was a “settler-colonialist” who “helped perpetuate violence in opposition to Indigenous communities and actively participated within the slave commerce.” Based on her editorial, Pauw exploited indigenous Lenape inhabitants for his or her land (now modern-day Jersey Metropolis) and imported slaves from Brazil for compelled labor.
“The play on “pow wow” used to create “pauw wow” can be degrading and offensive to Native American communities,” Abuali wrote.
Travis Whisler, the college’s dean of scholars, mentioned the title was “type of a double-hitter for social justice people” in its offensiveness. The administration and college welcomed the concept of a reputation change, he mentioned, however the course of was “hardcore student-driven.”
“They did an outstanding job and actually saved the ball rolling,” Whisler mentioned.
After a seven-month-long dialogue course of between college students, college, and alumni, the newspaper got here up with a listing of candidates for a brand new title. By a course of that concerned checking for obtainable web site domains and doable copyright infringements, the college finally settled on the Saint Peter’s Tribune.
The brand new title “had a newsy really feel to it” and “wasn’t confrontational,” Bishop-Smith mentioned. “We wished one thing that will be clear and never have any dangerous connotations to it.”
Throughout the pandemic, the newspaper has gone totally on-line, however editorial staffers hope to print the primary bodily editions of the Tribune this fall.
Pavonia, the Latin model of Pauw, means “peacock,” which is the college’s mascot. Saint Peter’s officers say the peacock was chosen to signify the hen’s symbolism in Catholic custom, and isn’t associated to the Dutch settler.
However Pauw is the namesake for Jersey Metropolis’s Pavonia Avenue and the Pavonia department of the Jersey Metropolis public library.
“There’s a lot Dutch affect on Jersey Metropolis, and Dutch males like Pauw, and I feel that must be one thing that must be seemed into extra,” Abuali mentioned.
“Possibly that’s a undertaking that I’ll do after I graduate.”