Ammo for Controversy? College Paper Dumps ‘Bullet’ Name

In yet another glaring example of political correctness run amok, the editorial board of an East Coast college newspaper announced this week it’s changing the name of the institution’s weekly publication from “The Bullet,” because of the violent imagery the word may provide to its readers.

Starting with its September 4 printing, the University of Mary Washington Bullet, which has been the newspaper of record on the Fredericksburg, Va., campus since 1922, will be known as The Blue & Gray Press.

Alison Thoet, the paper’s editor-in-chief, told the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star this week that the staff wanted to change the name to reflect the changing nature of the field of journalism and “really be reflective of the student body.”

“The editorial board felt that the paper’s name, which alludes to ammunition for an artillery weapon, propagated violence and did not honor our school’s history in a sensitive manner,” according to a press release issued August 18. “The board intends to remain faithful to the history our university stands upon, and we continue to honor this history both in a respectful and meaningful way.”

The press release explained that the name change to The Blue & Gray Press more closely reflects UMW in the 21st century.

“The new name is simple, but calls forth UMW’s colors, giving a direct reference back to the school and students the university paper should represent,” it said.

According to Megan Petter in the Student Activities and Engagement Office, the name change is still in the process of becoming official. While the paper’s internal student board has already voted, the changes to its constitution must be approved by her office. Because the publication’s primary funding comes from UMW, the department must give final approval.

It will probably seem contradictory to some that while the editorial board considered the word “bullet” to imply violent activity, “Blue & Gray” and the college’s proximity to significant Civil War sites reflects on what was undoubtedly the country’s most historically violent period. Then, there’s the fact that the University of Mary Washington annual yearbook is named “The Battlefield.”

What do you think? Is this political correctness gone berserk, or does the term “bullet” reflect violence? Please comment below.


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