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More than 200 George Washington University students have signed a petition calling for the school to adopt a new mascot and nickname because the current moniker, Colonials, is "extremely offensive."

"The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression," the petition reads.

It suggests alternative nicknames such as "Hippos" or "Riverhorses."

The Colonials mascot was adopted in 1926 to honor the school's namesake, George Washington, and is intended as a reference to colonial America and the Continental Army.

(Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire, via AP Images)

The petition reads:

We, as students of the George Washington University, believe it is of great exigence that the University changes its official mascot. The use of “Colonials,” no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation and world at large. The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression. Alternative nickname recommendations are “Hippos,” "Revolutionaries", or “Riverhorses.”

“It’s very wrong for us to call ourselves an open and welcoming university when the name means such demise and terror for students who could possibly come here,” sophomore Andrew Hesbacher told the student newspaper.

“Colonialist, terrorist, murderer. In a lot of places that’s what colonials mean to people,” he said. “Why would we continue to call ourselves that?”

As of Friday morning, more than 200 students had signed the petition. If 500 students sign on, the Student Association president will have to respond to the request.

Watch the "Fox & Friends" co-hosts react above.


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