The Power of a Name

by Emily Kulp, Opinions Editor

The decision of whether to change the name of our newspaper is a difficult one for both the staff of The Crusader and the entire campus community. Are we embracing dangerous ideals by having our school’s newspaper share its name with the Ku Klux Klan’s newsletter? Would we be giving in to a society of unnecessary political correctness by making a change? To explore these ideas and others related to the possible name change, I believe it is important to consider The Crusader’s connection to the KKK, and its connection to Holy Cross’s mascot, while questioning the power of a name.

Contrary to some rumors and beliefs, our Holy Cross campus newspaper was never mistaken for the KKK’s newspaper and we were never sent submissions from readers hoping to reach the KKK. We simply share the same title as the radical organization’s newsletter. Yet, I believe that in questioning what connection our newspaper has to the KKK’s, we need to recognize that plenty of unrelated newspapers and organizations share names. The KKK does not own the name “The Crusader” and our newspaper is not automatically a hate-fueled publication because we share the same title.

It is also integral that we consider the connection between the name of our student newspaper and Holy Cross’s mascot. Unlike the KKK’s newsletter, our school’s mascot is actually connected with the name of our campus newspaper. While I understand it would take a huge amount of time and effort to change our school’s mascot, it is important to question why our newspaper should change its name if our mascot remains the same. Although some may argue the newspaper is a student-run entity separate from the school as a whole, I believe our newspaper has strong connections to our school, and that the decision to change the name of the newspaper and the mascot should be more closely intertwined.

After considering the connections between the name of our newspaper and the KKK’s newsletter, as well as our school’s mascot, I believe we must begin to question what power names have in our lives. In a response to my previous article, “The Trouble with our College’s Mascot,” Matthew Apicella ’16 suggested that in changing its mascot, “The College could highlight how the word ‘crusade’ was used in a non violent [sic] way.” This prompted me to begin to consider the different definitions of a “crusade.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a crusade as both “any of the military expeditions undertaken by Christian powers in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to win the Holy Land from the Muslims” and “a remedial enterprise undertaken with zeal and enthusiasm.” A crusade does not have to be negative or violent. It can be an effort to improve or change something for the better. The name of our newspaper has the ability to represent the positive change the students of Holy Cross seek to make through writing when separated from the armor, sword, and shield of our mascot.

The most important questions often do not have easy answers, but I always believe it is important to look at a problem from all angles. By examining the connection between our newspaper and the KKK, its relation to Holy Cross’s mascot, as well as the power of a name, we can begin to have important discussions about what the name of our student newspaper means for us as a college community.

If you have thoughts or an opinion on The Crusader’s potential name change, be sure to submit an article or response!

photo credit: Google Images

 

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