HC Alum Claims that Recent Hate Speech Escalates
Published: Friday, April 26, 2013
Updated: Saturday, April 27, 2013 18:04
On April 3, Kate, a woman who was allegedly sexually abused while on a study abroad trip as a Holy Cross student, began a Hunger Strike. In the past she has done a Vigil for Justice outside the College campus in February of this year, and other forms of protest in the past. She claims she is doing the hunger strike until the administration addresses her concerns, in the way the she wants, regarding her sexual abuse case.
She has been receiving hate speech in the form of derogatory comments, and on March 29 talked to Public Safety about it. Kate has received hate speech in the past, but she felt it has severely escalated in the past few weeks.
“I encountered some last year, but much more kindness,” said Kate. “The same was true for most of the past eight weeks at the Vigil, but the hate speech really spiked recently, so I reported it.”
While Kate believes that students are sending her hate speech, the administration cautions the Holy Cross community about assuming where the derogatory comments are coming from. Dean Jacqueline Peterson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, states that the college is following standard procedures for a filed complaint.
“She can give any information to Public Safety and the administration will investigate the situation with integrity and a standard response,” said Dean Peterson.
“As of right now there is no evidence that the hate speech has come from students, however, Paul Irish, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, has been in contact with off-campus students because they would see her the most and has reminded them to respect her protests.”
Kate is refusing any medical treatment from Public Safety. She believes she is doing the hunger strike for the right reasons.
“There are times in every person’s life when a stand must be taken for justice.”
The administration has been taking the hate speech very seriously. Robert Hart, Director of Public Safety at Holy Cross, is unable to comment on the specifics of the case because it is an open investigation, however he stresses Public Safety’s concern of maintaining the integrity of the investigation.
“Public Safety takes all matters concerning hate speech and actions very seriously and investigates any incident to it’s conclusion,” said Mr. Hart. “We also comply with the Colleges, local, state and federal policies and laws regarding hate and any related complaints and crimes which occur on campus, campus owned, or controlled properties. We hold a seat on the Hate Not Here Committee as well.”
The Holy Cross administration understands that Kate is within her rights to protests and the Holy Cross community should keep this in mind.
“She is protesting peacefully and has the right to do so,” said Dean Peterson. “Students and faculty should act with dignity and not encourage hate speech or related behavior.”