We are glad the Cooperstown Central School Board finally chose a nickname for the district, but were surprised by the plummeting attendance rate at meetings pertaining to the matter. What seemed to be a hot-button issue attracting nearly 100 people for and against a name change at initial meetings seemed to simmer to complete no shows toward the end.
We do not think people just stopped caring. Perhaps they had determined the name was going to be changed and there was nothing that could be done about it? Or perhaps those passionate about it were too far away or busy to get to meetings? Perhaps people felt it better to talk to school officials in a less public setting or preferred to send something in writing?
One thing is clear, there are many people who have strong feelings for and against it. Just go to the Cooperstown Alumni Association Facebook page (which is full of comments) or ask people about it as you walk down the local streets or eat at a local restaurant.
What is most concerning about the whole process is the number of people who have indicated that they were unaware of the Survey Monkey poll sponsored by the Cooperstown Alumni Association. The link was posted on the alumni association’s Facebook page and made made available for anyone to take.
“The Cooperstown Alumni Association allows everyone access to the Facebook page. Our survey was intended and advertised to solicit public opinion because it was important to get both alumni and community feedback. Unfortunately it is very difficult to create one outlet for everyone to participate, including those without access to the internet and/or Facebook. We made every effort to accommodate as many interested participants as possible and shared the survey as much as possible. The mandatory question about the alumni/non-alumni status was in place to determine where the responses came from, and as the detailed results indicate, most were CCS alumni. We hope that alumni who have participated and followed this issue have been pleased with the efforts of the CCS Alumni Association to include them in this matter. We surely would love for every interested alum to join the Alumni Association to assist us with annual scholarships and awards. We also intend to continue to use this Facebook page to keep alumni informed about what is going on at CCS, and to share news about other alumni around the world as the information is made known to us,” read a post from the alumni association on its page.
We certainly believe the alumni association has done an excellent job trying to keep people informed and updated — at least on its site. We must admit we are not aware of other ways it has reached out to others.
However, in recent conversations, we have learned some had no clue the alumni association has a Facebook page while others have complained they do not have access to the internet. It has also come to our attention that some people had difficulty opening the survey on their smartphones and tablets.
We do feel the school tried to get the word out and allow everyone to participate in a survey of some form. The Crier tried to aid in those efforts by keeping our readers informed throughout the entire process — but found it somewhat difficult because we had to refer people to our website for updates because of our weekly print deadlines.
Was “CCS Hawkeyes” the best choice? It may not be the most original or could get confusing because the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League team goes by the name “Cooperstown Hawkeyes.” But the name seemed to be the favorite — receiving the most support by students, teachers and the public via surveys.
We know many take great pride in being a “Redskin” and there are emotional ties that connect people to the name, but now that the change has been made, we hope the community can embrace the the decision and move forward.