Memo to Anyone Who Stops By and has an Answer to my Question Next Week

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.

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Holy Cross Violates Civil Rights

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.

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Kevin Condron’s total for the Worcester Food Bank: $6,000

As regular readers know, I recently decided to hold the leadership of Holy Cross responsible for the harassment I am getting at the Vigil for Justice.  I had to take this step because 889 days have passed since Holy Cross agreed to settlement talks.   Holy Cross leadership knows how to settle a case when it wants to.  Since they chose to put me through all of this, I am holding them responsible by making sure they help people who are worse off than all of us.  This, in short, is why P. Kevin Condron, chair of the Board of Trustees at the College of the Holy Cross owes the Worcester Food Bank $6,000.   I was harassed 12 times this month, and that’s $500 a pop.   So, Kevin Condron, this is what you have to do for our community:  pay $6,000 to the Worcester Food Bank to use in their work, and when they want to thank you explain to them carefully that you are doing this because you made a big mistake and want to do better.

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Holding the Board of Trustees Responsible

I sent this to the Board of Trustees today, via the college lawyer Vincent O’Rourke:

Dear Board,

My efforts to contact you have all been ignored.   I will stay with the Vigil for Justice for as long as it takes for the college to address the problems I brought to your attention.   A recent communication sent by the college administration to more than five thousand people made it very clear you are willing to lie and deceive about the reasons for my protest.  The college lied and said it had made other processes available;  in truth, the college left me hanging when it said it would respond about mediation.  Also, 884 days have passed since the college agreed to settlement talks.   Now you are lying about it.   The college also chose not to make it clear that my protest is about confidentiality breaches by the college presidents, retaliation when I complained, and failure to report the Jesuit on criminal charges.  Instead, the college chose to obscure the issues and say the perp wasn’t here.

Every single day I have to wait for you to take responsibility, I will increase your obligations.

This month I am adding at least one new thing to my proposal.   This month, every time someone yells “Get a life!” or “Go HOME” or something like that, P. Kevin Condron will have to make a $500 donation to the regional food bank.  (We’re past $5,000 as of today.)   Next month, every time this happens, someone else I name will have to make a $500 donation to the Worcester chapter of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union because the college violated my civil rights many times.

I see that you are reluctant to take responsibility and hold yourselves accountable.   I will bear witness to these events for as long as it takes.

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“Go Home!”

It’s always the drunks or the idiots that yell “Go HOME!” when I am at the Vigil for Justice at Holy Cross.  It happens every few weeks.   I now have a standard reply:

“Go back to HIGH SCHOOL!!”

But it only works when the car is going slow enough, otherwise I don’t think other people caught what happened and it’s not worth it.  Better just to focus on my mission.

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“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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