The new president of the College of the Holy Cross, Philip L. Boroughs, SJ, loves to retaliate. He frankly seems addicted to it. This stands out in my experience because his predecessor, Michael C. McFarland, SJ, never retaliated against me at all, not a single time. The retaliation by Fr. Boroughs is intentional and deliberate. I know this because he never stops it when I complain to him about it.
Here are some examples of retaliation by Fr. Boroughs:
1. He filed a complaint against my professional license which I won.
2. He violated the college’s policy on holding peaceful protests in March 2012 by banning me from campus. Sixteen months later, Fr. Boroughs still violates campus policy on peaceful protests and has not removed the ban.
3. He dropped me from being a class agent for the college after many years of service with no explanation. He ignored all of my questions about this.
4. He put my name on an internal list at the college, violating the strict confidentiality promised to me when there was no emergency and he never sought permission to use my name this way. When I complained, he ignored me.
5. When he filed the complaint against my professional license, he violated the law and did it with the New England Jesuit province and violated prohibitions against breaching confidentiality.
6. The College conspires to violate my civil rights by placing trucks blocking my protest when the Chairman of the Board wants to drive by the college.
There are many more examples; I just wanted to give a sense of it.
The similarities with the experience of military sexual assault victims are stunning. The Department of Defense did a survey of sexual assault reporting and found that less than one third of victims ever report the crimes. Among the less one third who report it, 62% said they experienced retaliation for making the reports. In other words, retaliation is more likely to happen than not.
Unlike Holy Cross, Congress and the military are taking steps to stop retaliation against sexual assault victims. Congress passed a whistle-blowers protection act to shield people who report the retaliation. By contrast, no one in the administration of the College of the Holy Cross has taken any steps to address the retaliation and no wrongdoers have been punished by the Board. The Vigil for Justice will continue until the College addresses the retribution, reforms college practices and punishes the perpetrators of retaliation.