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As many Holy Cross alumni returned to campus for Homecoming Weekend, they enjoyed a tailgate on Freshman Field before heading to the football game. Yet many were surprised or even shocked to hear rumors that Freshman Field will soon no longer be known by this name.
The Crusader has recently obtained special information confirming these rumors and revealing that Freshman Field’s name will be changed to First-Year Field as of Spring 2018. This change is the result of Holy Cross faculty, staff, and students questioning the implications of calling the field “Freshman.” As one professor stated, “The name Freshman has so many negative connotations. It is associated with incoherence and inexperience, and thus leads to bullying and alienation of those who are called ‘Freshmen.’” “The field may constantly look fresh, green, and new,” another Holy Cross staff member added, “but that steep, almost-vertical slope people are always falling down to get to the field shows it is a field with its own unique and poignant struggles. It must not be so callously called ‘Freshman.’”
Many Holy Cross students also share the concern that the field has not been justly named. “The name Freshman really just comes right out and assumes that the field is a newcomer,” says one student, “But to me Holy Cross has always been a campus of great inclusion. No field should obtain outsider status by being given such an unjust name.” Another student agreed, saying, “The so-called Freshman Field is not different from the other fields on campus, so there is no reason to differentiate it by name.” The student then suggested First-Year Field was the perfect new name because it excluded the insulting nature of the name Freshman, while including the “new growth” the field experiences every year. For this student, “new growth” means “both the general grass growing and the field’s transformation from a sludgy mud pit after Spring Concert last year to a place where humans can actually walk.”
Many members of the Holy Cross community also emphasized the ways in which the field’s close ties with Holy Cross’ Montserrat Program justifies its name change. One Montserrat faculty member illuminated how “The vertical slopes of the field mirror the sloping peaks of the Montserrat mountain range and allow the field to form close ties with those students who happen to fall down its slope. These close ties between students [and fields] are the pinnacle of our freshman Montserrat program.”
As the Holy Cross campus community works towards officially changing the name of Freshman Field to First-Year Field, however, it has become essential to halt other name-change initiatives. As an anonymous source told The Crusader, “The College cannot focus on changing too many names at once. For now, the student newspaper will have to share a name with the KKK newsletter and the campus mascot will have to be a knight who killed many innocent people. We simply must prioritize our efforts.”
At press time, the College was considering a suggestion made by a second-year student to change the field’s name to Sophomore Field.
photo from https://apcook15.me.holycross.edu/2013/09/22/blinded-by-the-lights/