Holy Cross Student Newspaper Changes Name From ‘The Crusader’ To ‘The Spire’

Holy Cross Student Newspaper Changes Name From ‘The Crusader’ To ‘The Spire’

The spires of Fenwick Hall at Holy Cross College: The inspiration of the new name for the student newspaper: The Spire

[A suggestive and sexist title (see Urban Dictionary www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=spire and www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=spire%20of%20desire), insulting to the college’s female students, graduates, faculty and staff! – AQ moderator Tom]

By NewBostonPost Staff | February 2, 2018

Editors of the student newspaper at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester signaled in March 2017 that they planned to ditch “Crusader” as their paper’s name because it might offend Muslims. An editorial in the student newspaper Friday, February 2 states:

“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.”

Get AQ Email Updates

3 comments on “Holy Cross Student Newspaper Changes Name From ‘The Crusader’ To ‘The Spire’

  1. Holy Cross: Crusaders Still

    By NewBostonPost Staff | February 3, 2018

    The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester will keep Crusader as its mascot and nickname.

    The board of trustees decided to keep it Saturday, two and a half years after a drive began to get rid of it.

    Opponents of the Crusader nickname argued that it’s offensive to Muslims, who were the target of most of the wars medieval European Christian crusaders waged to try (from a Christian point of view) to free Christians under Muslim rule and liberate the Holy Land. Supporters of keeping Crusader pointed to tradition and the close ties between medieval crusaders, who put a cross on their chests before setting out for the Holy Land, and a college named after the cross Jesus of Nazareth died on.

    The college posted on its web site a video showing its president and trustees chairman announcing the decision and explaining it.

    “As we know, there’s a lot of passion in our Holy Cross community. So we’re excited to be able to tell you that the Crusader name will stay, and our identity as Crusaders will continue,” said John J. Mahoney Jr., trustees chairman.

    But Mahoney and the Jesuit college’s president, Father Philip Boroughs, distanced the college from the medieval crusaders.

    “We heard mainly that there were some people that were concerned about offending others because of the tie to the crusades themselves. Our community does not tie the Crusader name to the crusades,” Mahoney said.

    Father Boroughs explained the nickname in the modern sense of someone who zealously pursues a goal.

    “We’re crusaders for the importance of the intellectual life and thinking critically and analytically. We’re crusaders for social justice and care for the underserved. We’re crusaders for making a difference in our world – all of which attributes and commitments come out of the educational experience that we offer here at the College of the Holy Cross,” said Father Boroughs, a Jesuit.

    He noted that Martin Luther King Jr. and Dorothy Day are sometimes called “crusaders for justice,” and it’s in that sense that the college wants to be known as Crusaders — “not as connected to the tragic wars that happened in the 11th, 12th, and 13th century.”

    Father Boroughs said Holy Cross will assess how the college depicts the Crusader mascot in its literature and on campus.

    Neither school official offered details about the board of trustees’ discussion, including whether the board took a vote or what the outcome was.

    While the college has decided to keep crusader, the editors of the campus student newspaper went the other way. On Friday the newspaper, known since the 1955 as The Crusader, announced it will now call itself The Spire. The newspaper is editorially independent of the college.

    Discussion about the term “Crusader” started in earnest in the fall of 2015, when Father Boroughs set up a committee to discuss whether buildings that were named after 19th century Jesuits connected with slavery ought to be called something else. He also asked the committee “to be aware of other issues of naming and memorialization on our campus which might need to be reviewed” — an apparent reference to Crusader.

    The committee’s report in March 2016 noted that five faculty members on the committee called for getting rid of what one of them called “our much more offensive mascot.”

    Ditching Crusader provoked strong reactions from Holy Cross alumni, including former Boston Celtics player and coach (and current television analyst) Tommy Heinsohn, who called it “political correctness run amok.”

    • Five Lessons From the Holy Cross Crusader Victory

      By Matt McDonald | February 4, 2018

      The Holy Cross trustees’ decision to keep Crusader as the college’s mascot and nickname is a major victory for those who care about history, culture, and Christian identity.

      You can tell that by the muted reaction it’s getting in the mainstream media. Had it gone the other way, we’d already be seeing video of Crusader images being removed from campus.

      And who are the losers? Leftist social justice warriors.

      Not Muslims. During a gathering of students on campus to discuss Crusader in March 2017, not one Muslim spoke, and it seemed as though not a single Muslim even attended. Of course, that may be because Muslims at the school had already decided they are O.K. with spending four years at a place called “Holy Cross.”

      Another loser is the college’s president, Father Philip Boroughs, S.J., who started this nonsense two and a half years ago. He invited a committee he created to study a couple of problematic building names “to be aware of other issues of naming and memorialization on our campus which might need to be reviewed.”

      That’s academic code for “Give me cover to ditch Crusader.”

      It didn’t happen. And that matters.

      Just because The College of the Holy Cross had Crusader yesterday and will keep it today and tomorrow, don’t imagine the trustees’ decision simply amounts to a continuation of the status quo. When you get pushed to the brink of elimination and you don’t get eliminated, it isn’t a tie. It’s a win.

      It also changes the game, at least a little.

      This particular win offers lessons that may in time lead to future victories. Here are five of them:

      Not every battle in the culture wars has to be lost.

      Despite the name, Holy Cross is not exactly a bastion of Catholicism, like, say, Thomas More, Christendom, or Northeast Catholic College. It’s run by Jesuits, after all. Supporters of Crusader had every reason to think they’d lose this fight.

      Crusader seemed all but lost last year – it appeared to be just a matter of time. Opponents almost started talking about it in the past tense.

      Surely the editors of the student newspaper thought it was going away – that would explain why they announced Friday they were changing the name of their publication to The Spire. They thought they were at the vanguard of the revolution. Turns out they’re stuck at the top of an ivory tower, and the trustees took the ladder with them.

      Karl Marx wasn’t right. Leftist advances are not foregone conclusions. Leftism can be fought, and it can be defeated.

      Passion beats namby-pamby.

      Celtics great Tommy Heinsohn deserves a lot of credit for this victory. Calling the attack on Crusader “political correctness run amok” and telling critics to “Get a life” helped frame the discussion correctly, and it prevented confusion among others who agree with the sentiment. Continuing his agitating whenever any reporter or columnist asked him about it reinforced the idea that supporting Crusader was right and opposing it wasn’t just wrong, but crazy.

      Heinsohn’s take on taking down Crusader was like Donald Trump’s take on ditching Merry Christmas. When you’re right, don’t just say it meekly. Double down.

      If you want to win a fight, act like it.

      Passion needn’t nix respectfulness.

      Supporters of Crusader never adopted leftist tactics. They did not rely on ad hominem attacks against individuals and dismissing entire groups of people. They didn’t use identity politics to try to silence anybody.

      Instead, they stated their case clearly and strongly.

      Vile images, profanity, shouting, chants, violence – these things are not needed.

      It’s O.K. to let the squeamish have a little wiggle room.

      The president of Holy Cross and the chairman of the board of trustees offered head-scratching comments Saturday about how a Crusader is not a crusader, summed up by this sentence from trustees chairman John J. Mahoney Jr.: “Our community does not tie the Crusader name to the crusades.”

      At one point in the joint video, Father Philip Boroughs claimed Holy Cross affiliates are “crusaders for the importance of the intellectual life and thinking critically and analytically.”

      Hmmm. That’s some crusade.

      But they can have whatever fig leaves they want. A saner generation in the future can recapture what Crusader really means – and how a Christian warrior who “took the cross” during the Middle Ages is the obvious mascot for a school that calls itself “Holy Cross.”

      The key thing is keeping Crusader.

      It’s ain’t over ‘til it’s over – watch them like a hawk.

      While normal people do things like go to Christmas parties, watch the Super Bowl, and grill hot dogs on the Fourth of July, social justice warriors spend all the time they’re not thinking of themselves … plotting.

      The Holy Cross trustees’ decision to keep Crusader should settle the issue for a while … but it’ll be back. Now is the time to build on the foundation of support for Crusader that this attack drew out.

      Conservatives and their sympathizers have a tendency to disappear once the battle is over. Leftists tend to stick around the battlefield and look for opportunities to sabotage and attack again.

      As the Christians learned during the Middle Ages, it isn’t enough just to win a crusade. You also have to win the peace.

  2. Just a few possibilities for modernist colleges that want to sever ties with their Catholic past:
    the Georgetown Vasectomies, the Fighting Flamboyants of Notre Dame, the Fordham Condoms, the Providence Spermicides. They should have contests for the most politically correct mascots.

Leave a Reply