FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/2/18
WORCESTER, Mass. – The editorial staff of College of the Holy Cross’ 93-year-old student newspaper announced Friday that it will begin publishing under a new name.
The first edition of The Spire—an homage to the distinctive spires of Fenwick Hall, Holy Cross’ main building, oldest structure, and the center of campus—will be published Feb. 9. The editors announced the decision this morning, in the final edition of The Crusader.
The decision comes after much deliberation, dating back to last year’s editorial board, and is the result of a long process conducted with the intention of making sure the student paper best represents the Holy Cross community and its tradition. This will be the second name change in the paper’s history, with the first coming in 1955, when the name was changed from The Tomahawk to The Crusader.
It should be noted that this decision was made independent of the college administration, and with no knowledge of what the Board of Trustees will decide in their upcoming meeting on the Crusader mascot and moniker this Saturday. The editors said they did not wish to make any recommendation to the Board about its decision.
The decision was announced to the campus Friday, with twin editorials announcing the end of The Crusader and explaining the rationale behind the new name.
“Holy Cross’ crusader, as a motif and concept, has been synonymous with the school since 1925, when it was adopted as its official symbol. Men and women have been proud to call themselves Holy Cross Crusaders for nearly a century. The decision to break with that tradition, then, was not taken lightly or hastily,” the editorial stated.
At the same time, they rejected the suggestion that the paper’s name should be changed because it was shared by a publication of the Klu Klux Klan. Instead, they said the decision was based on the association with the violence of the Crusades.
“No matter how long ago the Crusades took place, this paper does not wish to be associated with the massacres (i.e. burning synagogues with innocent men, women, and children inside) and conquest that took place therein.”
The editorial board’s examination of the newspaper’s name was prompted by a letter, signed by nearly 50 faculty members, which was submitted to the managing editors of The Crusader one year ago. The previous editorial board published it and duly initiated a process to evaluate the name of the campus newspaper. That process included a public discussion in Rehm Library and the paper’s partnership with the college’s lecture series on the Crusades and the Crusader image. Under the current editorial leadership, The Crusader has published opinions from all sides and received and considered plenty of private correspondence on the matter.
In announcing the change to The Spire, the editors said it was important to them to choose a name that carried the weight of history, given the Crusader’s place in Holy Cross tradition. In 1843, Bishop Fenwick of Boston founded the College of the Holy Cross. That same year, the cornerstone for Fenwick Hall was laid. The original Fenwick Hall was a Greek Revival building much like the current one, but with only one spire. In 1852, a fire burnt Fenwick Hall to the ground, leaving the future of Holy Cross in doubt. However, through persistence and resilience, Fenwick was rebuilt and Holy Cross developed into the treasured institution that it is today, the spires of Fenwick Hall standing tall all the while.
“Every student at Holy Cross has stepped into Fenwick at one point or another, and the spires of Fenwick stand tall and proud on Mount St. James for all to see,” they wrote. “They are an iconic feature of Holy Cross and are an architectural hallmark of the campus. Thus, The Spire is an incredibly appropriate name for our newspaper.”
ABOUT THE SPIRE
The Spire is the official student newspaper of the College of the Holy Cross. Previously named The Crusader, the Spire covers the news, opinions, culture and sports, and is one of the premier student-run publications at Holy Cross.