USFs name is fine as is
The University is playing around with a new name: "University of South Florida Tampa Bay."
This won't be an official name change, just a branding tactic to improve USF's national reputation, an idea proposed by the appropriately named National Reputation Task Force. Apparently, the problem is that when people in other states hear "South Florida," they don't think Tampa.
"You think of the University of South Florida and you think Miami, obviously, south Florida," student body president Matt Diaz said to The Oracle. He's also a member of the task force.
University spokesman Michael Hoad said, "It's just a way of getting past the confusion people have when they read ‘South Florida.'"
However, it is unclear how a name change will improve national recognition. If anything, it will only confuse the matter. If people don't know what USF is, they certainly won't know what USFTB is. They will know it's located in Tampa, but there's little advantage to that kind of "recognition." One can deduce from its name that the University of Montana Western is likely somewhere in western Montana, but that does nothing to improve its national reputation.
Knowing who we are as a university is more important than knowing where we are. If USF continues to build its national reputation through academic and extracurricular achievements, name recognition will follow. Some of the most well-known universities don't have geographic indicators in their names. The average person may not know that Dartmouth is in western New Hampshire, and people don't recognize Harvard because they know where the city of Harvard, Mass., is located.
The name change won't be reflected on bookstore merchandise, and other USF campuses won't be expected to use it. Actual USF students will likely continue to simply call their university "USF," and some may not even notice the geographical addition, though the announcement has already prompted the creation of a Facebook page titled "Do NOT Change University of South Florida's Name."
Hoad said there's much confusion among Florida universities with similar acronyms, such as USF and FSU or FIU and FAU.
The decision to add Tampa Bay to the name comes on the heels of the St. Petersburg Times' decision to rename itself the Tampa Bay Times, but that may not be the best example to follow, especially when it comes to name confusion.
The Times competes with the similarly named Tampa Tribune, which cried foul in 2006, according to the Huffington Post, over the title of the Times' free tabloid, already called the Tampa Bay Times. The Tribune claimed the title was too similar to the Tampa Times, a name owned by the Tribune. A similar problem could result with USFTB and University of Tampa.
If USF is looking for a new name, maybe it can reconsider suggestions from 1957, the year the University was first named, that avoid the geographic ambiguity issue, such as Citrus State University, Sunshine State University or the University of Florida at Temple Terrace.
Many students would laugh at these names now because they know their university as USF. It may be geographically inaccurate, but the school will always be known as USF, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Trump to hold rally at Sun Dome
- Fun sailing with Gasparilla continues until April
- SG Senate approves divestment again
- USF takes stance against biased speech
- USF research team witnesses historic eruption
- USF totals 18 signees on National Signing Day
- USF's Courtney Williams eclipses 2,000 career points in win
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- 2016 Resolutions: Time for an Update?
- GlobalGiving and Athletic Tips Partner to Help Keep Young...
- Share Your Love This Valentine's Day
- From Bratty to Bearable, Global Nanny Jo Frost Tackles...
- Fibromyalgia: The Disease Whose Exact Cause Remains Unknown
- Beware Scourge Pricing When Using Apps Like Uber
- How Safe Is Your Child's Bedroom?
- Is Your Smile Unforgettable?
- Gallup Report Shows More Americans Favor Chiropractic Care
- Reading Program Is 'Changing Lives One Student at a Time'