Last year, I held a 26 day Hunger Strike for Justice at the College of the Holy Cross because all of my ways of communicating with the college administration were ignored and futile. The college ignored flagrant confidentiality breaches regarding sexual assault by a Jesuit, allowed more confidentiality breaches after I complained, engaged in cover up and conspiracy, and then retaliated for the past year. The college offered settlement talks on the 26th day of the Hunger Strike for Justice, so I ended it and went home. Nothing has ever come from the settlement talks.
Regular readers of this blog know I have wrestled with when or if to restart the Hunger Strike for Justice. I finally made up my mind. Here with some edits for privacy reasons and clarity is the text of what I said to the Holy Cross administration this evening:
These are the reasons for the Hunger Strike for Justice restarting two days from now. Please share them with Fr. Boroughs.
1. The college has never once addressed a problem within the administration: confidentiality breaches, more breaches after I made complaints about earlier ones even though there is a witness, lying about the confidentiality promised, cover ups, conspiracy among attorneys to enable the cover up, and retaliation.
But the college responds (slowly) to hate incidents by a handful of students.
2. I had recently wanted to restart the hunger strike, but thought the first week in September 2013 was better, to allow time to prepare. But I found myself hoping the college would make good use of the time. Then I had to recognize the facts: the college has never made good use of time. The college’s delays have always harmed me a great deal and been very, very debilitating. Waiting until September would bring up the false hope that this time would be different and the delay worthwhile. I can’t do that.
3. Finally, while I know I can make a ten year commitment to the Vigil for Justice, the plans have become tedious. For example, the person who joins me most times had said he’d come to the Vigil on Friday, so knowing when he said he would meet me, I made arrangements with you with public safety at 1:15 that day to discuss the hate incidents. An hour before I wrote to you about the hunger strike restarting, this man had contacted me saying he had to cancel and won’t be there on Friday. It’s become tedious. In some ways that was the final straw.
All of these things combined to say now is the time to restart the Hunger Strike for Justice. Last time, the college offered settlement talks on the 26th day in an email from Timothy Mines. Nothing ever came from that. I won’t be misled this time. There has to be real, genuine communication to resolve this. Also, I did not have an attorney last year and I will not have one this year. Holy Cross only used the lawyer I hired later to delay and make false statements of fact to him. None of that was a benefit to me.
So, I made my plans and I will begin. I am conscious of the medical advice, but I have worn out every other means of communication at this time. I have provided many proposals and never received a reply. I have provided information about ongoing issues with the administration and never received a reply. I have to communicate differently. The Hunger Strike for Justice is about seeking justice, accountability, and penance.
The college will have to reach out to me to resolve this, because everything I do is ignored.