Sharing a Message to the Student Community

From: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President
To: Students (shared with faculty and staff)
February 6, 2019

Dear Students,

Yesterday afternoon I met with a small group of students who represented many members of our community. I conveyed to them, and want to convey to all of you, that I apologize that any student would feel that they were put into a position in which their safety was compromised. 

I recognize that it has been said many times, but your safety, and that of our faculty and staff, is our highest priority. All decisions throughout our process are made with this at the forefront. But while we believed we were acting with safety in mind, that has not been your assessment. It is clear that there is a gap, which we will do our best to close.

Many of you have expressed disappointment, and even shock, at learning that the College investigated allegations of misconduct against Professor Dustin for 20 months while he remained in the classroom without notice to the community. It is clear that our decisions around communication have caused frustration, anger, and fear among some members of our community. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or when to share sensitive information, but the privacy of those involved in the process is one we take seriously. And we know that members of our community can find it difficult to come forward with stories of alleged misconduct without the fear that those stories will put those who report under scrutiny themselves. We have strong policies against retaliation, but the fear of reporting misbehavior is real.

It is very clear, however, that as a community we need to consider and come to a consensus on the issues surrounding disclosure in Title IX matters. We will evaluate communication as part of our upcoming review of policies and processes related to Title IX. We can do better, and we are committed to getting this right.

I've been impressed over the past several days with the commitment of our students. You have demonstrated a clear sense of purpose, and resolve. I know that your criticism is borne from a love for Holy Cross, and a desire for it to live up to its mission. We share that goal. I am committed to addressing these issues, and I am thankful to have passionate and thoughtful students to work alongside in moving the College forward.