By Christine McLaughlin ’21
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of sitting down for a meal with a member of the Holy Cross Class of 2020. She reached out to me the day before over email, saying that she was “deeply troubled” by something and “needed to speak to someone as soon as possible.” Now, I am not usually one to take on heavy stories, but this seemed urgent. I agreed to meet with her for a discreet lunch in Kimball.
I walked in and found her seated at a table by the windows, nervously poking at the remainders of grilled chicken on her plate. We exchanged pleasantries for a bit, about class and the weather, until I had warmed her up enough to ask what was on her mind. She sighed.
“I’m not sure if I can put this plate on the plate carousel,” said Caroline ‘20, from New Jersey, who has asked to be named by first name only for privacy reasons. “You put it on the tray, and you think someone takes it off back there, but you can’t really be sure. I mean, what if it just falls off?” I tried to reassure her that this was not something she needed to worry about, but she was insistent. She said that she never used to think about it, but lately has been kept up at night wondering. “You just never see them again,” she said, looking down at the table.
Caroline’s concern is undoubtedly one shared by many fellow Crusaders. “I think the Jesuits do it,” says Mike ‘22, from Cape Cod. “I think I’ve heard them talking back there.”
A number of first-year students I interviewed expressed that they have taken to washing plates themselves, for fear that plates put on the carousel will fall into the wrong hands.
Caroline said that although she may never know, she remains hopeful that an answer will be found. “You can’t give up on things like this,” she said, and looked out the window, grim, but determined.