It’s been nearly a month since our Sept. 9th piece when we asked DU to publicly affirm the Pioneer nickname as well as reinstate the Pioneer nickname to those programs where it was dropped. To date, DU has failed to respond.
In 2019, DU senior administrators removed the Pioneer nickname from at least three longstanding programs. Pioneer Passage was changed to “New Student Convocation”; the Pioneer Awards were changed to the “Crimson and Gold Awards” and the Pioneer ID Card abruptly appeared without the Pioneer name (although after the DU community caught wind of this, the card was ‘restored’ with an option for cardholders to choose cards without the ‘Pioneer’ name). For more details on these changes, see the link here.
DU has failed to provide a clear and public response to these ongoing issues, or to affirm the Pioneer name in any way in an apparent continued attempt to play on all sides of the issue.
Over the last month since our requests, several sources advised LetsGoDU that the University was “working” on a response. At first, there was a senior-level meeting when the issue was discussed. The result was a proposed letter directed to alumni only — a tactic they tried back in 2018. Such a limited response has clearly been demonstrated as ineffective as DU’s own senior administrators have continued to peel away the Pioneer name at will in 2019.
Following the proposed letter (which was never issued), further investigation uncovered that the issue was later kicked over to senior leaders, select staff and the Board of Trustees at a mountain top retreat two weeks ago and that a public DU response would be forthcoming.
All we have heard from DU since then is silence. And silence on a matter such as this speaks volumes.
DU must take a firm, public stance on this issue and live with the consequences, one way or the other.
It’s almost Homecoming and this question is certain to be raised by many DU stakeholders. If DU is planning to respond, it would be wise to get it done immediately.