August 18, 2022

Opinion: Cappy isn’t a Problem

Editor’s note: The following article was submitted by a reader and does not represent The Chimes or its staff.

In my dorm hall, there are two shower stalls for the men. In each of these stalls, there is a hook on the wall to hang your towel so that it doesn’t sit in a puddle while you shower. This hook is broken. A piece of it snapped off, apparently years ago, rendering it little more than a peg for your towel to slide off of. 

I don’t have to spell out how much of an annoying inconvenience this is to everyone. 

The other stall in the bathroom is the wheelchair accessible stall. It is rarely used, because no one wants to be the guy in there when the person in the wheelchair needs to use it. That is, if said wheelchair-bound person could make it up all three flights of distinctly non-handicap accessible stairs in our elevator-free dorm. Keep all this in the back of your mind, as it will be relevant later.

I don’t need to go into too much detail about who Cappy the Crusader is. We all know him, we all love him. Now, we all need to save him. The school administration wants to take our beloved mascot from us to “make the campus feel more inclusive.” That’s their point, now here are a few of mine.

The student experience living on campus is full of problems as our dorms crumble around us, classrooms flood with alarming regularity when it rains, and aging infrastructures cause internet struggles, in addition to scheduled blackouts as we try to balance the power grid nearly every summer. 

All of these problems affect the student populace at large in far more real ways than an ‘offensive’ mascot ever could.

Capital is right on the doorstep of multiple synagogues. If this were truly an offensive symbol causing harm to the community, don’t you think they would have put forth their strongest effort when Cappy was being adopted into this loving CapFam rather than 13 years into his life?

I found nothing about that in old news articles. If the offense had not developed more recently, I’d like to think I would have seen the protests over my last four years here, the respected members of the community standing in front of Yochum Hall with their signs, chanting slogans for change; the students defying class schedules to work towards a change they believe in deeply, passing around water bottles and people saying words of encouragement to the protestors as they walked to their dorms or the MDR. I did not see that, though. 

I saw not a single person, a single sign, heard a single chant, felt a single breeze from the winds of change. Did you?

Most students associate the word “crusader” not with people fighting holy wars, but with Batman. The Caped Crusader still uses that title, and if anyone has shown that they are worried about causing offense, it’s the big media companies. 

If DC is still okay with it, why isn’t the administration at Capital? A large percentage of the student body doesn’t know how many crusades there were, or who the primary combatants were. A vague image of a Templar Knight may come to mind, but other than that, nothing. You cannot possibly be offended or incensed by something you know nothing about. 

Average people are immediately offended by Nazis because those people know what they did. Average people are not immediately offended by the Khmer Rouge because they’ve never heard of them, despite also committing a genocide.

Make no mistake, the Crusades were bad. They were also over before Christopher Columbus had even reached America. That is over 600, repeat 600 years ago. I think anything over half a millennium is probably long enough to stop getting offended over. 

The community hasn’t put up any real fuss about Cappy, so that leaves the school administration. They seem to be afraid of backlash from moral busybodies and internet crusaders (ironically enough). To avoid harsh words from the activists, a fate that this change could never avert, the school administration is trying to be ideologically sensitive. 

Rather than spending a ton of money rebranding our University, maybe spend all of that money on things that will help the students. Fix the dorms. So many rooms could use a coat of paint, new ceiling tiles, furniture that isn’t missing chunks or carved into, closet doors that run smoothly in their tracks. 

Offer more classes by hiring new people or by paying our current professors better. Make Huber-Speilman flood less often. They’ve been making plans to renovate the Lohman complex for years (this time without the mold), and this is the perfect opportunity! Rather than waste the money on a rebrand, there is so much maintenance in the dorms that could be done to actively improve our lives. 

I recommend starting by making more dorms handicap accessible. If the administration is truly worried about inclusion, they should start by including people with physical handicaps. Then, they can fix my shower hook.

Article submitted to The Chimes by Josh Kraynek

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