BREAKING: Toronto Metropolitan University releases new sports team name and mascot shortlist

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By Gavin Axelrod

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) is a step closer to finding its new sports team name and mascot after a shortlist of prospective names was released by the school Tuesday. 

Three team names—The Bold/TMU Bold, The Meteors/TMU Meteors/Met Meteors and The Towers/TMU Towers/Metropolitan Towers—made the shortlist. Meteors and Towers are also listed as potential mascots along with bee, caribou, moose and squirrel. Community members will also be able to submit suggestions as the naming process continues. 

Re-considering the university’s current mascot, Eggy the Ram, was one of 22 recommendations put forward by the Standing Strong Task Force accepted by the university in August 2021. 

“We recognize that there might be ideas that haven’t yet come to the committee,” a member of the committee told The Eyeopener Tuesday. “It’s quite possible that somebody can look at these ideas in a different way and come up with something that hasn’t been raised before.” 

The first phase of community engagement ran from May 19-30 and over 2000 survey responses, emails and social media contributions were reviewed by the Mascot and Team Name Committee. 

TMU released a statement on June 16 saying that using “Rams” wouldn’t be considered moving forward. The name doesn’t fit parameters set out during the process including aligning with values that have guided university athletic programs like resiliency, authenticity, inclusivity, determination and pride. The statement also said “the values closely associated with its athletics programs aren’t evoked by a ram.” 

When making the shortlist, the committee looked at which name and mascot suggestions were legally ownable, if they made sense and appealed to the university, didn’t belong to a rival school, weren’t copied from a professional sports team in the city and didn’t raise concerns regarding alignment with the university’s values and aspirations.

“This research is happening concurrently with the discussions with the committee while sharing this with the community,” a committee member told The Eyeopener. “Some preliminary searches and cultural checks and legal checks have been done and those will continue to happen as the list evolves over the next…probably month.”

The committee also said implementing a new team and mascot will come in phases, much like the university’s re-naming. Part of the process includes new uniforms for the school’s athletic teams, which are expected in January. Last year’s threads will be worn in the meantime. 

No concrete details about when Ryerson Rams branding will be removed from athletic spaces like the Mattamy Athletic Centre were made available. However, there will be plans in place to represent the university and its new name in some fashion. 

Phase two of the university’s mascot and team renaming process—which invites community members to share their thoughts on the shortlisted names—will be open until July 19 at 11:59 p.m. 

The committee hopes to have a recommendation presented to TMU president Mohamed Lachemi in the coming weeks and a finalized decision is to be announced before the start of the academic year. 

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