Georgia Southern University has been referred to by its students as “the real GSU” since the dawn of time or 1906 when the school was established, whichever you prefer. Now that’s changing. Well, at least for the media.
Due to the Sun Belt reference guide, the university will be referred to by the media and announcers as GS, and long-time Twitter rival Georgia State University will take the abbreviation GSU uncontested.
The decision was handed down Tuesday by the Sun Belt conference in response to the addition of new teams to their conference. The Commissioner of the Sun Belt Karl Benson announced the regulation that affected four other teams in the conference.
“We’ve sent out a document to our member universities encouraging them to adhere to the reference guide even though it may not be what they normally or historically or traditionally have referenced,” Benson said.
The reasoning behind the name change was to assist announcers and other media outlets differentiate between the different schools in the Sun Belt. It is also important to note that the change does not affect current logos or uniforms.
To come to this decision the conference officials met with the member universities that say how they want to be referenced. The purpose behind the meeting is to establish how the member university defines its identity.
“Our member universities should be referenced as they want to be referenced, regardless of history or tradition or state guidelines,” Benson said.
Some GSU students are embracing the new change, thinking it will start a new tradition for future students to follow.
“I think its fine, I’m tired of people confusing us with Georgia State. It will be a new identity for a new conference,” C.J Brzail, freshman, said.
While some don’t mind the new abbreviation, many are passionately against the change.
“I don’t like it. We’ve been GSU for a long time and I think we should have had more input in the decision,” Brittany Klassen, junior, said.
“Our football team has been around much longer and when I came here we were known as the real GSU and I don’t want that to change,” Paige James, freshman, said.
The Eagles long-time rivals Appalachian State University were not exempt from the change. Formally known as ASU, the reference guide now refers to as App.
The new abbreviation will change how the media refers to Georgia Southern, not how the students refer to it. So whether a new tradition of GS or the old of GSU relies entirely upon how current students and alumni want it to continue.