This is the start of the 7th week of the Vigil for Justice. I might stop marking the time this way. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Hunger Strike for Justice at the College of the Holy Cross. The hunger strike ended on the 26th day when the college offered settlement talks which so far have gone nowhere. There was also one year of retaliation during all that time.
Whatever it is, week #7 of the Vigil for Justice, or week #53, this Vigil will be shaped for months to come by the response by Holy Cross to an email I sent last Friday. Two weeks earlier, I made contact about retaliation and confidentiality breaches again, and also about problems with a policy that William Conley, a Holy Cross official, had given me telling me it applied to the new victims I was meeting — alums and Worcester residents. But when you read the policy, you see it does not apply to victims who are not current students. There was NO response at all to the problems I contacted Mr. Conley about. Two weeks have passed.
Last Friday I sent a new communication to Mr. Conley, after the hate speech last week by Holy Cross students:
I am bringing a new problem to your attention and raising three problems you did not address.
1. Retaliation is a violation of at least three Holy Cross policies. To whom is it reported when the college lawyer and other officials do it?
2. Confidentiality breaches violate at least three Holy Cross policies. To whom is it reported when the college lawyer and other officials do it?
3. Please clarify the harassment policy you provided, which appears not to cover the people whose abuse was brought to your attention. They are not current students.
4. The new problem. Does Holy Cross have a policy against hate speech? If so, where can I find it? The Vigil for Justice has lasted seven weeks. 95% of the students are great. There is a small portion that we have become able to identify when we see them, who engage in loud hate speech, including gay slurs when neither my companion at the Vigil nor I are gay. Since it a protest related to sexual assault, it appears intentional. This individual passed by several times yesterday and today.
Please address these problems. If you are not the person to whom these complaints should be made, please tell me where to direct them.
I will have a good gauge of how long this Vigil for Justice will last when I see the response to this communication. Will any of it be addressed? Will all of it be ignored? Will they just address one thing and pretend the rest was never a problem? Holy Cross strikes me as very ambivalent, doing some things very well and totally messing up on other things, so I cannot predict anything. I will learn a lot when I see how they handle this.
Enough rambling on. Week #7 or #53! I am in the right place at the right time in my life, standing up for justice, accountability, and penance. And it’s a much better life than before.