News

Sit-In Continues into Second Day as Students Discuss Demands with Administrators

Allyson Noenickx ‘19

Editor-in-Chief

On Tuesday, February 5, students assembled at the Hogan Oval around 9:50 AM to begin their march towards Fenwick Hall for a second day of demonstration.

The sit-in, which has been largely student-led and organized through social media, is planned to continue until the students’ four demands regarding the College’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations—including those involving Professor Christopher Dustin, who is now on administrative leave—are met.

Several student organizers from the senior class met with Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president and VP and Dean of Students Michele Murray yesterday. The two groups are set to continue talks today sometime after 3 PM.

“We’re really happy to see the turnout is still going strong, but we’re still disappointed in the administration’s lack of action and we will update the student body after our meeting with Father Boroughs,” said Mithra Salmassi ‘19, one of the organizers of the sit-in who met with members of the executive team on Monday.

The student organizers have reported that this is the largest demonstration in Holy Cross history, with over 400 people in attendance throughout the day on Monday. According to the group, after negotiations with the administration “significant progress” has been made on demands III and IV. The details of these discussions were made public yesterday in the organizers’ press release.

Press release issued by sit-in organizers on Monday.

Three former Holy Cross Organ scholars, Sean Redrow ’98, Brett Maguire ’02, Jake Street ’10, who were part of a group of five alums who made sexual misconduct allegations against organist James David Christie this past August when they came forward to the Boston Globe were also in attendance yesterday.

Social media, including a Facebook event made up of over 1,000 current students and alumni, have been the driving force behind much of the sit-in organization and communication thus far. Through the group, students have been disseminating meeting time information, updates, and “Standing Up By Sitting In” and “No Donations Without Action” graphics for social media use.

Student version of the Standing Up By Sitting In graphic. Alumni and parent versions of the graphic also circulated across social media on Monday.

The graphics especially have spread across campus as students changed their Facebook profile pictures and updated their stories throughout yesterday. Other student groups on campus and Instagram accounts like @sexualassaultonthehill, which made headlines last semester when it was created as an anonymous platform for students to share stories of sexual assault on campus and frustrations with the administration, have joined in sharing information and graphics on their stories.

Today, student demonstrators were encouraged by organizers to dress in black as a statement of their solidarity. Students will also be using the hashtag #whyImSitting throughout the day as well to share what compels them to sit.

This story is still developing with more updates to come throughout the day.

Group of seniors leads the march from the Hoval to Fenwick. Photo by Kim Fetherston ‘22.
Adam Coshal ‘20 speaks to demonstrators prior to this morning’s march. Photo by Kim Fetherston ‘22.
Galen Comerford ‘19 leads the charge into Fenwick Hall. Photo by Kim Fetherston ‘22.

View a complete photo gallery of Monday’s sit-in.

Last updated 2/5/2019 at 2:56 PM

Categories: News

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