Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Just Another Cover-Up

How rich…Seattle University is changing the name of the Connelly Center because its namesake protected a sexual predator in the 60’s. This is a cover-up of sexual abuse by erasing history. The Jesuits of the Oregon Province declared bankruptcy because its members abused more than 500 minors and vulnerable adults, mostly from the Native American Community, and covered it up for years.

A more fitting action would be to gather the names of every child, teen, and adult raped or violated by Jesuits and their associates and place these names on a “Wall of Remembrance” in a conspicuous place on the SU campus. Invite tribal members and other survivors traumatized by the Jesuits to come to SU for a three-day period of purification, penance, and prayer. Ask tribal elders to cleanse and sanctify the “Wall of Remembrance” through ritual smudging, dance, and drumming. Invite survivors to tell their stories. Have all Jesuits, especially those who are young, participate. Ask the elders, the survivors, and their family members to educate the Jesuits in particular, and our whole community, about what more can be done to foster healing and peace.

The victims of sex abuse and their families must never be forgotten, especially by the Jesuits and their associates.

Robert Fontana, 2016 graduate

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  • T

    May 22, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I’m going to state what should be obvious here. The purpose of renaming the building was to CONDEMN the actions of Archbishop Connolly (see Google or the gym for spelling), not to “cover” them. On 5/4/18, Father Sundborg sent a statement to the entire campus via email to make public the exact reasons for changing the building’s name. I will paste the email’s contents below. You cannot rightly complain about a “cover-up” which was intentionally made as public as possible by those instigating the change. Additionally, imagine the many rightly justified complaints that would come about if the name of the building were NOT to be changed. Because we at Seattle University condemn sexual abuse, we do not chose to name our buildings after known sex abusers. I feel that is a reasonable, rational, moral decision to make. To be honest, this argument seems neither well-informed nor well-reasoned, specifically towards considering alternative consequences. Rather, it seems eager to complain without sufficient consideration or research, as is common on our campus. Thank you.
    Dear Seattle University Community,

    Yesterday afternoon during its quarterly meeting, the Seattle University Board of Trustees approved removing the name of Archbishop Thomas Connolly from our athletics and recreation center and renaming it Redhawk Center. The board is the final authority regarding the naming or renaming of campus buildings.

    This action follows a review of a report by the Seattle Times in March 2016 which contained Archdiocese letters in its reporting. The letters from the 1960s revealed that Archbishop Connolly continued to place a priest by the name of Michael Cody in parishes after being informed and warned about Cody’s sexual abuse of minors.
    I brought the matter to the board at its first meeting following my own recent review of the letters and consultation with others. This review affirmed in my mind that removing Archbishop Connolly’s name from our athletics and recreation center needed to happen and should have been acted on even sooner.

    Seattle University has taken a zero tolerance approach to the issue of sexual abuse of children. This has been demonstrated in part by the university’s previous actions removing the names of two deceased Jesuits from endowed professorships upon learning of their abuse of minors, and now with yesterday’s vote by the board.

    May this action also provide further healing for survivors of child sexual abuse.


    Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.