College Halts Investigation into Alleged Hate Crime

Jackie Cannon ’20

Chief News Editor

The College of the Holy Cross is suspending their investigation into the reported assault of an LGBT+ student on October 27. This news came in a November 30 letter to the campus community by the Vice President for Administration and Finance, Dorothy Hauver.

The letter stated that, in nearly 200 hours of investigating, all leads, including interviews and security camera footage, were pursued, but did not lead to a suspect. Hauver stated that she and the Public Safety department were “disheartened” to report the suspension of the investigation.

Hauver wrote, “We have taken this investigation very seriously and dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to investigating the report and working to bring the investigation to a conclusion.” Additionally, Hauver acknowledged that the investigation would be reopened if new information comes to light.

The case in question stems from an October police report sent to students that described the assault as a hate crime. Although few details are known about the assault, the incident prompted a rapid response by the College administration, and eventually contributed to the implementation of the ENGAGE Summit on November 16. During this summit, all classes and extracurricular events were cancelled for the afternoon as students, faculty, and staff reflected on how to make campus a safer, more accepting place for all.

The letter also addressed questions raised about the Department of Public Safety and its role at the College. Hauver emphasized that Public Safety officers are “sworn Massachusetts special state police officers” and go through the same training as all officers in MA, while Chief Shawn de Jong has extensive law enforcement experience and served as a detective for many years.

Because of these questions about Public Safety, Hauver announced the launching of the “Community Policing” program, through which members of the Department of Public Safety will meet with members of the Holy Cross community to “educate the community about DPS and the police services they deliver.”

Included in the letter were the resources in place for students’ safety, including the Safe Ride service that runs from outside Kimbal Quad to Hogan 3 from 4:00 p.m. until midnight, Monday through Sunday. Additionally, students can call public safety at 508-793-2224 for an escort.

Hauver encouraged anyone to reach out to Public Safety if they have information they have not yet shared.

Photo by Hui Li ’21

Categories: News

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