Last year, prompted by a letter from several dozen faculty members, The Crusader’s editorial board initiated a rigorous process to discern the future of the newspaper’s name. As part of a campus-wide discussion of the history associated with our mascot, faculty panels and student opinion articles tackled the issue from several different angles. We have been and will continue welcoming any submissions from the Holy Cross community regarding the mascot or this newspaper’s name.
First, however, we would like to set the parameters of debate. The Crusader’s name is a fundamentally separate issue from the College’s mascot. While Holy Cross students began calling themselves Crusaders in 1925, this newspaper did not reflect that change until thirty years later. Additionally, while Holy Cross’ Catholic heritage is especially important to the mascot debate, it is less pressing for this one, as The Crusader is a secular and non-partisan mouthpiece for the entire student body. On the other side of things, however, we reject the idea that an incidental connection to the name of a rarely-read and poorly-circulated KKK newspaper represents a strong reason to make a change. Yet, whether that newspaper’s name serves as evidence that the word ‘crusader’ has not lost its ‘clash of civilizations’ connotation certainly remains up for discussion.
The Crusader was named in 1955, when Holy Cross was a homogenous place, filled with almost entirely white, Catholic men. Now that the school is far more diverse, it only makes sense to consistently evaluate the vestiges from a less inclusive time. The purpose of this newspaper is to represent and reflect Holy Cross’ student body. Our ongoing process will determine if calling it The Crusader is the best way to do that. While tradition is powerful, it alone is not reason enough to prevent us from best realizing this perpetual goal.
The Editorial Board will render a final decision on the matter by the start of the Spring Semester. Email us at crusader@.g.holycross.edu with public submissions or private comments.
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