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Message from the President

From: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President
To: Holy Cross Campus Community
August 23, 2019


Dear Members of the Holy Cross Community:

Since last August, when I put out the specific call to all members of our community, including alumni, to come forward with any information related to possible sexual misconduct at Holy Cross, we have received reports from Holy Cross community members, nearly all of which relate to conduct experienced by students in previous decades. I want to assure you that we are following up on every one of them to determine whether they are new reports or whether they relate to matters that were previously adjudicated. The College is reaching out to those who have come forward to gather further information and explain our process.

As we review these allegations, I am appalled at the possibility that the conduct being reported could have happened here at Holy Cross. Sexual misconduct is extremely serious, and antithetical to our mission and identity as a college and a community. The emotional and physical safety of our students is of paramount concern and no student should be subject to harassment or other sexual misconduct by faculty or staff whose job it is to educate, mentor and facilitate the growth and development of our students.

A primary concern for me, in addition to working to prevent future misconduct here at Holy Cross, is that anyone who experienced sexual misconduct by faculty or staff while a student here gets the professional help needed toward healing. To that end, I have established a fund to assist with providing professional counseling services, which would be made available following review of their claims. For further information regarding this fund or to make a report, please contact the Title IX office at titleix@holycross.edu.

Any reports of misconduct by current or recent faculty, staff or students will continue to be addressed by our Title IX office under the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. With respect to older claims of misconduct by former members of faculty or staff, whether alive or deceased, the College will be hiring an external investigator to review any claims that have not yet been investigated. Where violations are found, we will take appropriate action. The Title IX office will oversee this process. As these claims are reviewed, we will seek to identify any recurring, interconnected, or environmental issues, and continue to take steps to address them.

At Holy Cross we have a policy requiring our faculty and staff to report possible sexual misconduct. I cannot stress enough how important it is that the College receive this information in order to be able to address it. I want to remind all faculty and staff that last month I announced an amnesty, until the end of this calendar year, on reporting past sexual misconduct (behavior that occurred in prior years) against members of our community who were not minors. Anyone, with the exception of those who report directly to me, may make such a report with no repercussions for failure to report under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

It pains me deeply that I do not have the power to change what may have occurred in decades past at Holy Cross. I can, however, help to make certain that any of our alumni who experienced sexual misconduct by a member of our faculty or staff is able to access counseling services to help aid in their healing. I also can continue to ensure that all reports that come forward are thoroughly reviewed and that my administration is focused on continual improvement of our policies, education, and culture to prevent sexual misconduct at Holy Cross. And I can continue to call upon all faculty and staff members to help the College address these important issues by reporting. We want to make certain that the College is in the best possible position to prevent sexual misconduct at Holy Cross and promote safety in our community.

I remain committed to addressing any issues related to sexual misconduct and continuing to move our community forward.

Sincerely,

Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.
President