Jesuit Chronicle

Dear Charlie: An Advice Column with Charlie Crusader

Writing+a+letter+brings+joy+to+those+who+receive+it%2C+and+it+highlights+the+joy+of+giving+during+the+holiday+season.+%0A

Steele

Writing a letter brings joy to those who receive it, and it highlights the joy of giving during the holiday season.

Dear Charlie,

 

I am a junior, and though I was excited to become an upperclassman this year, I feel lost. My homework keeps stacking up, there is pressure to think about colleges, and I feel like I’m not taking on a big enough leadership role in the community.

 

Junior year is supposed to be the year I come out of my shell and become more independent. But now, I’m stuck at home stressing about all the work I haven’t done. Help!

 

Signed, 

 

So Much To Do, So Little Time

 

Dear So Much To Do,

 

In the words of Billy Joel, “Slow down, you crazy child!” As a junior, it may feel like the year to make your mark at Jesuit. If you are feeling motivated, go for it, but during the holidays, Admissions Director Erin DeKlotz recommends a simple six step plan to help you relax and take the pressure of success off your shoulders. 

 

“Breathe, move, rest, laugh, give, pray, and connect,” DeKlotz said. “I know when I’m stressed, I find myself holding my breath. Focus on breathing deeply. If you’re on your couch all day, stay physically active, even if it’s taking a walk. Get enough sleep. Try not to watch the news too much. Give back to your community.”

 

Deklotz said that practicing gratitude is also another big part of her life. She advocates for journaling, and making a habit of writing down one item that she is grateful for every day, like a warm blanket or a cup of coffee.

 

AP Psychology and Macroeconomics teacher Malia Bernards is a big believer in staying active, not only physically, but mentally.

 

“Challenge yourself to learn something new, something you’re interested in that has nothing to do with school, whether that’s sketching or baking or learning to cook,” Bernards said.

 

As the year comes to an end, focus on making connections, rest before the new year, and focus on your health. That will help you reach your goals of making your mark when the school year starts back up.

 

Signed,

 

Charlie

 

Dear Charlie, 

 

I am a freshman, and high school is a bit overwhelming. I wanted to do really well in my classes at the beginning of the year, but I’m kind of burnt out after a crazy year of COVID, wildfires, and quarantine. I thought high school was about meeting new people, going to dances, and taking every opportunity, but I am the only person from my school to come to Jesuit, and I feel very isolated because I don’t know anyone.

 

How can I make connections with new friends?

 

Signed,

 

Down and Out

 

Dear Down and Out

 

Making connections can be tricky, but it is a natural, and necessary, part of life, one which is especially important during not only a pandemic, but also the holidays.

 

“Swallow your pride,” DeKlotz said. “Be brave. Try randomly reaching out to people and see what you get. Don’t worry too much if you get silence. Maybe someone said something in a Zoom class that you appreciated, and you could text them and let them know that you appreciated their comment. I’ve heard people say it meant the world to them when someone reached out and texted them. Don’t underestimate the power of small acts of hope that you bring to other people.”

 

Theology teacher Sara Salzwedel mentioned some ways to reach out to family members of close friends during the pandemic-themed holiday season.

 

“Write letters to friends,” Salzwedel said. “Think about people to whom you could tangibly send something in the mail. I think anytime we start to go beyond ourselves, having those brief moments of respite where we put our focus on someone else I think really does help.”

 

Salzwedel and Bernards agree that the holidays are a time to check in with ourselves. 

 

“Just remember to take care of yourself first,” Bernards said. “We teachers are more concerned about [students’] health and well-being. Get outside and get some fresh air. Reach out for help. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Everyone is vulnerable right now.”

 

It may be difficult to begin your high school career like this, but take care of yourself, reach out to people, and surround yourself with people and things you love this holiday season.

 

Don’t forget to reach out to old acquaintances. Touching base with friends, catching up on Zoom, or even getting together while socially distancing can make your season that much brighter.

 

Signed,

 

Charlie

 

Charlie encourages you to talk to a counselor or trusted adult if you have any concerns.

Writing a letter brings joy to those who receive it, and it highlights the joy of giving during the holiday season.
(Steele )
About the Writer
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Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

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About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Crusader Comics: Giving Thanks

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Steele

Charlie Crusader gives thanks for the year, recounting all the new skills he has picked up during quarantine.

Charlie Crusader gives thanks for the year, recounting all the new skills he has picked up during quarantine. (Steele Clevenger)
About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

What’s Happening to Charlie Crusader?

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Jesuit High School

Jesuit students pose with an early rendition of Charlie Crusader.

In light of recent racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter Movement, sports teams and schools have been more receptive to changing offensive, racially insensitive team mascots to ones less inflammatory. Jesuit High School released an email at the end of July stating their intentions to not only discuss the appropriateness versus inappropriateness of Jesuit’s mascot, Charlie Crusader.

Charlie Crusader was chosen as the school’s mascot in Jesuit High School’s first year by students and administration. Possible mascots could have been the Voyagers, the Knights, or the Pilgrims, among others. On October 11, 1956, the student body voted, and the name Crusaders was chosen.

Vice Principal of Academics and Student Life Khalid Maxie said, “Jesuit’s Board of Trustees has appointed a Mascot Working Group comprised of 14 members of our community to begin seeking feedback from our various constituencies like students, faculty, staff, parents and parents of alums on the appropriateness [and inappropriateness] of the Crusader name and mascot in light of the mission, values, and identity of Jesuit High School.”

Maxie is a member of the Mascot Working Group (MWG), and meets with his team weekly. He says the group means to have open conversations with the Jesuit community and create opportunities for various constituency groups to participate in positive and constructive dialogue on the following question: In what ways do you think that the Crusader name and mascot are appropriate or inappropriate representations of Jesuit High School given our mission, values, and Ignatian principles?

“We plan to facilitate conversation with the Jesuit community about the Crusader name and mascot in a few ways: one would be the release of an online survey, and the other way will be through a series of live online community forums that will more than likely occur via Zoom,” Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs and member of the MWG Erika Tuenge said. “We are in the process, as a working group, of developing what those forums will look like.”

Maxie stated that the group’s role is to educate the Jesuit community about the Crusades and acknowledge their history. The goal, however, is not to redefine the Crusader to fit the values of the school.

“Our role is not to make a decision or push this process in any way,” Maxie said. “It is our job to make sure that we’re reaching out to all those [constituency] groups, and part of that requires the responsible thing that we’re currently working on: how do we educate our community about the history of Charlie the Crusader and the Crusades, as well as his cultural responsive implications?” Maxie said.

The MWG will gather information from constituency groups and provide the Board of Trustees with this information. Based on what they gather, the Board of Trustees will come to a decision as to what will happen to the Crusader name and mascot. Tuenge believes the Board of Trustees will make their final decision before mid-June.

In addition, members of the MWG must keep their biases to themselves when coming up with educational resources, while still keeping inclusivity in mind. To do this, the MWG will look to experts on the Crusades for facts and information.

“We hope to lean on scholars, professors who teach about the Crusades, to provide us with facts, leaning on the work of Holy Cross University who went through the same process” Maxie said. “They are a Jesuit Institution. The Crusader was and is their mascot. They decided to get rid of all the imagery but kept the Crusader name and redefined what it means to be a Crusader in this day and age.”

Tuenge commented that the diversity of the MWG will help the voices of the community feel heard.

“[The MWG represents] members of our community as far as alums, parents, past parents, faculty, staff, and students [who have a wide array of roles]. Because we are planning, strategizing, and collaborating together as a group, our hope is that we are coming up with a process that we’ll be proud of and that our community will be proud of, and they will want to share their opinions with us” Tuenge said.

Although members of the MWG cannot share their biases, the students of Jesuit High School are not without their own opinions.

For senior Naviya Venkitesh, the Crusader holds many fond memories of a school with an open community and racially diverse student population, however it is also a symbol of pain for her and her family.

“I think that the best option is that we should look into changing [the Crusader name and mascot],” Venkitesh said. “Obviously, that takes years and years. Right now, given our society’s climate around Islamophobia, I think it is necessary, especially for Catholics and Christians and Jesuit as a Catholic School, that we acknowledge the systemic racism and the Islamophobia that comes with having a mascot like Charlie Crusader.”

Venkitesh also believes that Jesuit students come from a place of not only socioeconomic privilege and cultural privilege, but racial privilege, and that our privilege needs to be checked because it is easy to become ignorant of discrimination felt by people of color all over the world.

“If a person is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and they come from financial privilege, it does not necessarily mean they struggle with the same things [people who are] BIPOC who do not come from financial privilege struggle with,” Venkitesh said. “As a BIPOC woman, I feel safe in society, and that is not the case for a lot of BIPOC women across the globe. That is not the same for a lot of queer people or people in lower income housing.”

In contrast, senior Katya Kurkoski said she represents the population of students who have not been educated about the Crusades and the implications the Crusader name and mascot might give. She says that when the name Crusaders was first chosen to represent the school, it might have been a reflection of the work ethic and competitiveness Jesuit displayed.

“I can’t think of Jesuit as anything other than the Crusaders. It represents something I’ve known for years and years,” Kurkoski said. “I know the Crusades were wars, but when Jesuit was looking for a mascot a long time ago, I think they saw Crusaders as a positive thing, as people who fought for what they believed in.”

Unlike Venkitesh, Kurkoski is unsure as to whether the mascot should be changed or not.

“I don’t know what they would change the mascot to,” Kurkoski said. “The Crusader mascot has been around for years. Most of the student body hasn’t thought much into [the positives and negatives of the Crusader], and I am part of that population of students. I don’t think Jesuit should change the mascot.”

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Crusader Comics: Halloween Horrors

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Steele Clevenger

Charlie Crusader is not phased by the geese’s attempt to frighten him.

Charlie Crusader is not phased by the geese’s attempt to frighten him. (Steele Clevenger)
About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

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About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

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