“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.”

A friend shared these words with me.

“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.”

-  Bayard Rustin

Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 20, 2013

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To the Board of Trustees

Some words to remember:

“Jesuit education rests on the premise that love is our origin and love our destination. God has loved us from the beginning and invites us to give ourselves in love as a response. At its best, Holy Cross has let you experience where mind and heart, faith and reason, come together and where they pull apart.

When you look ahead, love may not be the first word that comes to mind. No matter. So long as it is the last word. “In the evening of life, we will be examined on love,” says St. John of the Cross. Remember that! It will not matter if we have ever done anything extraordinary or said anything extraordinary.  All that will matter is that we have loved.

Let me end with the familiar words of Will Jenks, Class of 1954, and make my prayer that of everyone who has ever taught you here, or counseled you here, laughed with you here or prayed with you here. Wherever you are in the years to come, may you draw ‘life and strength and hope from this place, this bond, this faith, this love, this Holy Cross . . . ‘”

Paul F. Harman, SJ

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September 11, 2006

On September 11, 2006, I was hiking in the Adirondack Mountains with my usual companions,  a motley group of self-employed people and priests with the day off.  On the way up and at the summit of a mountain, we talked quietly about the anniversary.  We always shared a small buffet lunch at the summit, whatever anyone had in their fridge, and my friend who owned a liquor store always supplied the wine.  We were quietly talking among ourselves with long pauses in between, when a woman suddenly started shrieking and screaming at us violently, running at us screaming “You don’t know anything.  You weren’t there.  You don’t know ANYTHING.”   She ran off followed by her people, except for one person who stayed behind to apologize to us.   You don’t have to apologize, we said in unison.  Don’t.

I learned (again) that day that grief takes many forms.  Any feeling person knows that.

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Sad. Guess who notices?

The past three days have been out of the ordinary for me.  Since the Vigil for Justice began in March 2012, I have not had any sad days.  Maybe short parts of days when a sad memory returned, but no lingering sadness.  I am very dedicated to this Vigil for Justice and I won’t quit.   That commitment carries me far.

But I was nearly overwhelmed by sadness the past few days.  I am surprised who noticed and said something.   People in the Navy ROTC program at Holy Cross.   The very first person who noticed was a commander in ROTC.  Today two instructors from the ROTC program stopped to talk.   They told me “You can’t let anyone hold you down!  Stay strong!” and they both raised their fists.      The military has far more training and education re sexual assault, so this shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is.   Fr. Boroughs and the people who work for him have heard much more about what a difficult road this is, but they have not said anything or shown any concern.  (Ellen Ryder lies about that.)  The first and only people who noticed and said something are instructors in ROTC who drive by the Vigil for Justice and we had never had a private conversation.   They just figured it out.

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Sad Today

It is unusual for me to feel sad, crying kind of sad, but three times in two days I’ve had to leave the Vigil for Justice at Holy Cross because I was going to cry. Part of it is the harassment from cops on two mornings, part of it is telling faculty about sexual assault and retaliation, and part is looking at my own signs (like “Holy Cross Never Turned in Jesuit on Federal Sex Crimes”).  And just being tired.

It started yesterday and I haven’t shaken it yet, which surprised me. I’m a happy person. Anyway, just part of the road. It is what it is.

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More Harassment Today, but Also Some Nice Conversations

This is my second week at the Vigil for Justice in the new academic year, and someone in the administration of the college is calling the police to harass me.   It happened again today.  The Worcester police came. I followed the advice of the ACLU lawyer and took out and turned on an audio recorder and asked the officer to speak loudly for the microphone.  I also got my camera and took pictures of each of my signs and the officer’s car.   I explained the many mistakes made by WPD officers the last time the college called them.  I asked what he was complaining about.  I told him he was wrong and who to check with.  After 15 minutes of parking his car right in the middle of my protest, he told me he was waiting for HC Public Safety to show up.   Public Safety got him to come onto campus instead — which is much better than many cars and cops crowding my little vigil.  (I would have been very busy taking pictures.)

A short time later the WPD officer left without stopping to complain about anything.

That’s the harassment.

The nice conversations were all with faculty of the college.  I am slowly contacting faculty, after contacting many staff offices last week.   Many professors had received my email and stopped to share their views of problems at the college.  Apparently what I am experiencing from this college administration has struck a nerve.   Fr. McFarland never retaliated against me, I explained.  Fr. Boroughs retaliates every single way he can imagine.   People get what I am saying.  Hopefully, we can do something about it.

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The Deceitful Leadership of the College of the Holy Cross

Last week, the college administration sent an email about my protest which was full of errors and misleading statements.  Faculty told me about it and gave me copies of the email.  It had been sent by Ellen Ryder, head of the communications office, but sounded like it was written by the college lawyer.   In the email, the college lied and said they had provided assistance to me the past several years — this is 100% untrue.  It is completely false.  No assistance was offered or provided over the past ten years.   But the college administration sent the email to thousands of people asserting they had helped me.

The college also lied and said I had chosen not to use any regular processes that had been offered to me, but unfortunately chosen to protest instead.   100% false.   The college told me it agreed to settlement talks in April 2012, and then we had a meeting in September 2012.  At that meeting, I was told they would get back to me about mediation.   However, they never got back to me about mediation.  That September 2012 meeting was the last effort the college made. 

So I caught Ellen Ryder lying.  I gave her a response to the email and I asked her to share it with the same audience she had sent the college’s email too, so I could correct the errors.   But Ms. Ryder did not respond.  It’s dishonest and unethical behavior.

Today was the beginning of my second week at the Vigil for Justice in this new academic year.  So far, in just one week I’ve been harassed by police who violated my civil rights and caught the college administration boldly lying to the college community about me.  Obviously, the college has a lot to own up to, and I will make sure they are accountable.

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