Some George Washington University students call Colonials moniker 'offensive,' push to change name

What's in a nickname? To some at George Washington University, the near-century-old "Colonials" celebrates imperialism and needs to go.

Some students at the Washington D.C. university are pushing to change the Colonials moniker, which for decades has been the name of the college's sports teams and its health center.

The student-led push to change the nickname started in May of last year after a petition was signed by 538 university students. The petition said Colonials was "extremely offensive by not only students of the university, but the nation and world at large."

The school's Student Association, the student governing body, last month passed a resolution calling a referendum that would let all current students decide "whether or not the Colonials moniker is one that represents GW students."

Critics call the effort to change the name misguided.