Opinion: Charlie Crusader Should Remain as Jesuit’s mascot

Reet Chatterjee, Staff Editor

For over 65 years, the Charlie Crusader mascot has been associated with the values of Jesuit High School, Portland. Although the Crusader name has come under scrutiny recently, the Jesuit community holds the potential to redefine what it means to be a Crusader in today’s world. There’s an important distinction between a crusader utilizing biblical language to fulfill a fascist agenda, and a Jesuit Crusader utilizing their education to serve as women and men for others. 

At the Mascot Listening Session in December, one student suggested keeping the Charlie Crusader mascot for its ties to the school’s dominating athletics program. Jesuit High School has a strong footprint in the athletics department, even receiving the title of the top-ranked high school athletics program in the nation. According to the student, Charlie Crusader is a symbol of Jesuit’s strength in sports, and changing the mascot would alter the perception of Jesuit’s athletics department. 

Meanwhile, another student suggested that the Crusader mascot is justified for Jesuit, especially as a Catholic high school. The student shared that the Crusades occurred because of the religious oppression and injustice that medieval Christians faced. He passionately affirmed that the value of fighting injustice, apparent during the Crusades, should be reflected in Jesuit’s modern value system through the Charlie Crusader mascot.

Lastly, another student detailed the rich history and tradition surrounding Charlie Crusader. The student emphasized the significance of the Charlie Crusader mascot within his family, as everyone from his father and uncle to his brother and himself have worn the Crusader jersey on the field. Instead of trying to hide an important aspect of school history, the student encouraged focusing on the future paradigm surrounding the Charlie Crusader mascot.

Charlie Crusader is about growth, resilience, and service. Even if hate groups taint the crusader name, the Jesuit community holds the potential to redefine what it means to be a crusader with the Charlie Crusader mascot.