The College of the Holy Cross is in Worcester, Massachusetts. The past three years I’ve made day trips (two and a half hours each way), or stayed with friends but had to leave my dogs home, and also tried renting a room off Craigslist. It wasn’t working. I missed my dogs terribly, and the room I rented was okay for dogs, but the owner was up watching tv until 2 a.m. and I get up at 5 a.m.
So, I finally bought a house. I’m moving into it slowly. I’ve driven by Holy Cross a dozen times but didn’t stop to do the Vigil. My signs were buried under things I was moving from various places and….. I knew Holy Cross would be there another day.
When I return to the Vigil, it will be very different. I can come and go several times in the day if I feel like it. I can go home for lunch or to let the dogs out, or bring the dogs with me and take them home when it’s time. All through my three years doing the Vigil for Justice, it has become more knit into my life, and I’m constructing a life around it. It’s my job, my vocation.
When I started the Vigil for Justice three years ago, I sensed it would take a long time. Ten years was my prediction. Recently I thought about a thirty year plan. No one at Holy Cross looks eager to resolve it — their only effort is to try to make me go away by violating my civil rights. So, I am prepared to go the distance, knowing the Vigil for Justice at the College of the Holy Cross will be a regular part of my life for a long time to come.
Instead of ever doing anything to turn in the Jesuit perpetrator on federal sex crimes, the president of the College of the Holy Cross focused all his effort on threatening me with trespass. Trespass, when there never was any, instead of going after the Jesuit criminal who committed federal sex crimes. It REALLY got my attention when the president of the College of the Holy Cross had his lawyer threaten me. It got my attention because they let the Jesuit criminal be free. This is what fuels me to stay as long as it takes: the indignation, and seeing whose corner Fr. Boroughs is in.
But the other main reason for staying with this Vigil for Justice for as long as it takes is very simple and easy to see: the College of the Holy Cross is able to do everything I asked it to do to make reparation, so it will, no matter how long it takes.
Since I can create a life that enables me to stay as long as it takes, I will.
I will be a full time resident of Worcester very soon — living there for the first time since I was an undergrad at Holy Cross. I have been traveling for the Vigil for Justice and staying with friends, taking day trips, or renting a room. Soon, I will own a house. After three years of traveling I decided I had to buy a house so my dogs could be with me. I will be in walking distance of the College of the Holy Cross and the Vigil for Justice. I will be a neighbor and voter. I will be totally dedicated to this Vigil for Justice for as long as it takes. Thirty years? Ten? How many? As long as it takes.
One reason I can stay committed to this Vigil for Justice is I am confident the College of the Holy Cross can do everything I asked it to do. Nothing I asked the college to do is impossible. I am not on a futile mission. I can do this, because the college can do what I asked. It’s simple. Address the harm it did to my life and make heroic efforts to help people worse off than me. And apologize for all the intentional delays and retaliation. That’s it. All doable.
Continuing what I started a month ago, I am assessing top leadership of Holy Cross with penalties and penance for the long delays it has subjected me to. Over 900 days ago, the college told me it agreed to settlement talks and would get back to me about mediation. That never happened.
So it’s my job to hold HC leadership accountable for the delays. Delays harm people. Most people go away if you delay responding, but I won’t go away. Instead, this became my work, my ministry and my prayer. I will hold the college responsible for the delays and it will benefit people who are worse off than all of us.
The total for October was rounded up to $10,000 to cover harassment and indifference this month. Philip Boroughs is responsible this time, and he has to raise $5,000 for the Safe Haven program at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and $5,000 for the Worcester chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. The Safe Haven program helps victims of gender based violence; it’s run by Jesuit Refugee Service: East Africa. The Worcester chapter of Mass ACLU might not need the money but it deserves recognition.
The latest best example of blaming the victims of sexual crimes is occurring right now in Sayreville, New Jersey. Freshmen athletes were hazed in violent ways by varsity football players in the locker rooms after practice. Apparently this “hazing” went on for years and was accepted and ignored. Recently the hazing was seen for what it is — sexual assault and sexual harassment. Football and baseball coaches were suspended. The season was canceled.
And now? There is a witch hunt to find out who complained, who caused this mess. The young freshmen whose accusations led to the investigation are being publicly shamed. One of the young victims who spoke up said he wanted to kill himself.
This story struck a chord with me because the ONLY thing I have experienced from the administration of the College of the Holy Cross is abuse for speaking up. They retaliate, violate my civil rights, and breach privacy commitments made to me. It has taken a severe toll. The administration of the College of the Holy Cross knows it takes a severe toll and that’s the way they want it.
This is my question since I cannot find an answer when I search my mind and experience. Please tell me what you believe is right.
What do I do when….. someone stops to talk to me when they see me and are moved to say something, always someone in a car, who wants to tell me about a very terrible experience at Holy Cross? In all of these situations, the experience seems very bad and very current.
BUT…. my experience is the people in designated responsible positions at the College of the Holy Cross will not do anything to correct or address problems. I learned this over and over again. So I cannot refer people to Philip Boroughs, SJ (president), Kevin Condron (Chair of the Board), William Conley, Jr. (Title IX coordinator), Robert Hart (head of Public Safety) or Vincent O’Rourke (General Counsel). Did anyone notice the absence of women? Also, my impression is the college general counsel controls it.
My experience is that when you complain about problems at the College of the Holy Cross, YOU become the problem and the administration will be vigorous in imagining ways to retaliate against you for speaking up.
So what the hell do I do, when I learn about problems that are significant and current? Last time I said I am terribly sad and sorry about what you experienced and I believe you, then I waved at the next people driving by. THIS time, the person who stopped said “Why won’t you talk to me?” It’s because I don’t know what to do.
Please stop by next week and tell me what to do.
I changed the sign I wear around my neck at the Vigil for Justice. It has already received a lot of attention. It reads “Holy Cross Violates Civil Rights”. I forgot to take a picture this week, but I’ll get to it.
The most moving conversation was with someone related to a current employee at Holy Cross who told me about terrible actions the college has taken violating his civil rights. Many people stopped to show support. It was a great week for me, talking to people and NO harassment. I still expect this Vigil for Justice to last a very long time because the administration of the college is arrogant and can’t stop retaliating and violating civil rights.