Charlie Crusader Should not Remain as Jesuit’s Mascot

Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief

Charlie the Crusader should not continue to represent Jesuit High School, and should, ultimately, be replaced by a mascot which reflects Jesuit’s core values.

As freshmen, Jesuit students are educated on the five pillars of a Jesuit Graduate at Graduation: Open to Growth, Intellectually Competent, Religious, Loving, and Committed to Doing Justice. The Crusader, known for its religious persecution of Muslims, no longer symbolizes Jesuit’s core values of becoming open to growth or committed to doing justice, as the Jesuit High School community does not tolerate violence or persecution of those who do not share their same views.

Additionally, Charlie the Crusader is not an appropriate representation of the Jesuit community due to the violent history of the Crusades, and the image of an intolerant mascot may not appeal to incoming freshmen who have struggled with religious oppression. The Ku Klux Klan has also associated itself with the Crusader name in the past, using the name as a title for the white supremacy group’s newsletter. This is harmful to Jesuit’s reputation as a safe and welcoming community.

If the Crusader were to be replaced, the new figurehead for Jesuit High School should reflect Jesuit’s loving and welcoming community, as well as its fighting spirit. The name Crusader could be interpreted as Christian superiority, which is not an accurate depiction of Jesuit High School and the student body. Jesuit strives to include all religions and cultural backgrounds.

Education on the history of the Crusades is necessary if we are to keep our current mascot, but it may never lose its negative connotations. As one speaker at the Mascot Listening Session pointed out, Jesuit students and staff can still be good people without the Crusader as the school’s image. Other names for a Crusader which do not imply religious intolerance and reflect the Jesuit community’s openness to growth and commitment to doing justice include: Pioneers, Knights, and Warriors.