The president’s office of Holy Cross keeps changing its story. When I can document they breached promised privacy and confidentiality, they lie about something. When I prove the lie, they offer another excuse. When I show the excuse is wrong, they have a different line. When it all goes back to the beginning, there is a vast breach of privacy and no one in the president’s office gives a damn.
That is the status of things today, May 1, 2013, the 29th day of the Hunger Strike for Justice and 370 days since Holy Cross agreed to settlement talks. A president’s office that keeps changing its story. A college that is confused and ambivalent.
And the right story? Michael McFarland promised strict confidentiality, modeling it after a Jesuit we both knew very well who promised strict confidentiality. Strict confidentiality: no one else would know my name, where I lived or my story. When McFarland found he had a problem, being the leader of a non-profit, I contacted his lawyer, the general counsel of the college. The general counsel confirmed the strict confidentiality and that no one, including him, would ever see my communications with or from Fr. McFarland. The general counsel told me he had a problem, because he needed to investigate. So I gave him limited time to talk to specific people for a specific purpose.
That is the confidentiality promised to me.
Holy Cross has built up a vast set of defenses, excuses and changing stories to why they breach privacy in the president’s office. It changes and changes and changes. When I catch them in lies, they retaliate.
So, day 29 of this Hunger Strike for Justice, waiting for the college to take responsibility for all the lies, conspiracy, cover up and retaliation.
And I have some thank yous to express here. Thank you to the college employee who saw a beer can on the ground and picked it up and saluted me. It was so perfect. Thank you to the students, staff and neighbors who honk, wave and give power signs. Thank you to the grounds crew that just keeps on waving, when I don’t know one truck from another truck and catch the same one five times. Thank you to the students who stop to talk and say hello. Thank you to the students who once yelled or showed hate speech who stopped when you were asked to stop by someone at the college.
I’ve been asked why or people have worried that no one is standing with me. I don’t worry about it. I didn’t ask much. I am happy that a friend who came last year is so busy with his film career now. He is winning awards! I understood before he did that another friend was spending too much of his free time on this. I am staying right now with alums who would come if I asked, but I haven’t. I haven’t even told them what I am doing here in Worcester — just “meetings”, I say. (Their son will be a freshman at Holy Cross in fall 2013 and he’ll learn first.)
This whole experience just is what it is. I’m in the right place at the right time in my life.