Monikers, mascots, and mayhem: A case study in the psycho-politics of collective identity.

One prominent site of the campus culture wars is the name (or “moniker”) associated with the particular college or university and the mascot that serves to signify it. In the case of the College of the Holy Cross, where the author has worked for the last 30-plus years, the moniker is the “Crusader,” and the mascot is a fierce-looking knight, brandishing a very sharp sword. In view of the violence and atrocities associated with the Crusaders, there emerged a movement at the College to jettison the moniker and mascot and to replace them with something more consonant with the mission and identity of the institution as a Jesuit liberal arts college. This movement, in turn, brought forth another, geared toward retaining the moniker and mascot and thereby resisting what many saw to be the latest incursion of the politically correct “social justice warriors.” By exploring the controversy and debate that ensued, we have in hand an interesting and potentially valuable window into the campus culture wars and how they might constructively be addressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)