Sofia Maietta ‘19
On Tuesday, February 12, Father Boroughs sent out a campus wide email in which he outlined the College’s plans for its ‘Campus Climate Action Steps.’ First, he mentioned that membership for two groups, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Planning Group and the Sexual Respect and Conduct Planning Group has been finalized, and that plans will be submitted by both groups no later than April 15. Attached in the email are links to a page on the Holy Cross website for both groups, which includes their mandates and a full list of their membership. This is part of a larger web page that Holy Cross launched on February 12 which outlines the action steps the College is taking related to campus climate. Father Boroughs also announced that by March 1, he will send the college community his next update regarding the review of the College’s climate, structures, and policies which are under the direction of Phil Catanzano of Holland & Knight.
With regards to sexual misconduct policy and procedures, Father Boroughs stated that a review will begin later this month. He stated that the review “…will be coordinated by a committee of faculty, students and administrators, working with an external expert.” He also mentioned that he would be “…working with Professor Miles Cahill, Speaker of the Faculty, to ensure that the work of the ad hoc committee established by the Academic Governance Council is included in this review.”
Father Boroughs continued, “Provost Freije will ask the AGC and the ad hoc committee to consider questions regarding interim measures to be put in place pending an investigation of a faculty member and sanctions that are appropriate for faculty members found responsible for violation of our sexual misconduct or discriminatory harassment policies. She outlined this step and others in an email to faculty yesterday.” A link to her email was included in Father Boroughs’ own email. It has since been uploaded to the Holy Cross website under the Campus Climate page.
Members of the administration and student body are also working together in order to simplify how the Sexual Misconduct Policy appears online. Additionally, all faculty and staff will receive mandatory in-person training this semester regarding sexual and discriminatory harassment. Students will also have the option to attend similar training sessions.
Regarding the recent sit-in held outside his office from February 4-5, Father Boroughs mentioned that members of the Executive Team are discussing communication and disclosure issues relating to present and past investigations with student leaders of the sit-in. The administration is planning to post a FAQ on the new website about questions received from student leaders as well. Finally, Father Boroughs provided an update on the campus climate surveys for students, staff, and faculty, which will be released upon the return of the campus community from the March break.
Photo by Hui Li ’21