This article will break the format of our standard publication because, for those who have been readers for a long time, some of these stories may be familiar. That is because in light of recent events—and Cedarville’s unending failure to address sexual crimes on its campus—I thought it may be helpful to compile the stories we have published as well as one or two we recently received. Before I begin, I must say with a truly shattered heart that these stories are only the tip of the iceberg. If I took the time to publish every single story that has been sent to me, it could fill a book. Yet somehow I feel that the Cedarville administration would still find a way to ignore it, ban it, and convince students to discredit it.
Before we share this story, I must warn you that it is incredibly disturbing yet incredibly important. Sexual assault is a cancer that grows in darkness and abuse must be exposed so that justice can come to fruition. This young woman experienced something unthinkable. What is more, she experienced something avoidable if it were not for the disregard and lack of compassion exhibited by Cedarville University.
Next time the administration lectures us about the importance of mental health or caring for victims of sexual assault, remember how they handled this situation and how desperate this system must be changed. Remember that Cedarville cast out one of its own and put them in a dangerous position for the sake of public perception. Remember that Cedarville sought no recourse for its wrongdoings but simply doubled down on their disregard.
This story is not shared just to show Cedarville in a bad light. It is to bring to light a deeply broken system and expose the abuse that this student faced. There must be change. It is clear what was wrong in this instance. She should never have been forced to leave. She should have been given shelter at Cedarville before the incident because she had nowhere safe to go.
After the assault occurred, she should have been given shelter because there was nowhere safe to go. She should not have been blamed for the assault she experienced. She should have been believed. Leviticus 25:35-36 holds a command to fear God by providing shelter to those in our community who are in need, a command which is reflected in New Testament teachings to care for those in need.
But fear of God was exchanged for Fear of COVID-19. Here is her story.
Twenty Four Months.
Seventy Thousand Five Hundred Twenty Hours.
One Million Fifty-One Thousand Two Hundred Minutes of being a survivor.
Two years ago today, I was brutally raped. Twice.
Two weeks before my life would be branded by a vicious attack, Cedarville closed its doors to hide from the pandemic and left thousands of students searching for a place to reside.
We were told to pack some bags and go home, or go anywhere really.
One by one, students went home or were paired off with surrounding churches for respite. Only the “elite few” were allowed to stay on campus. Students who were missionaries or pastor’s kids were given preference. Students who had “ins” with administration or important staff members were conveniently allowed sanctuary in dorms.
Then, there was me.
A straight-A honor roll student. A student who volunteered in as many organizations as they could and did their best to meet Cedarville’s idea of a “good Christian young woman.” A young naive twenty-year-old girl with a known heart disability who had recently started dating a Christian young man whose family members attended Cedarville.
I petitioned Cedarville to allow me to stay on campus. I had no resources outside of the University to ensure I would be fed, housed, and in a suitable place to take care of my medical needs. I was denied. They told me to reach out to a church and see if some stranger would take me in disregarding their legal responsibility to allow me the housing I paid for.
I began to look frantically as my days left on campus dwindled quickly. Each unsuccessful second that went by looking for housing pushed me one more second closer to homelessness.
Eight hours from Cedarville, my mother was actively fighting the Coronavirus in the trenches of a hospital ER while my father was trucking many hours to ensure our state was still fed. My siblings hid at home praying for my parent’s safety while doing everything they could to stay healthy themselves. My sister, frail from her weakened heart and deteriorating body, feared for her life as she was given a death sentence if she caught the virus.
I could not go home.
Cedarville remained open for the elite who were chosen to stay on campus. The ones whom Cedarville thought were worthy of protection. Those students continued to be fed and housed. I found the President of Cedarville, Thomas White, in the cafeteria and shared my fears. He told me to talk to the Dean of Women: Mindy May, a woman who made it clear she did not like me.
On numerous occasions she threatened to kick me off campus If I could not get my heart disability under control. I petitioned to stay again but the answer remained. I had to leave. Cedarville wanted to keep the numbers as low as they could on campus and I was deemed not in need enough to stay.
I packed the essentials and what few possessions I could fit in my parent’s old grey half broken down Prius they had let me borrow at the beginning of the year, and I prepared to leave.
Cedarville’s actions in turning away a student in need were anything but a “student-centered” response.
Just one day before being sent from campus I found an elderly couple to reside with. After about a week, my stay there was complete. They could not house anyone long-term due to the health risks it posed them. I deeply respected that.
I moved on to stay with a friend for a few days and then was told I needed to go somewhere else. Not out of malice or spite, but simply because each family was doing what they could to keep their family safe.
Except this time was different. I did not find anywhere to go at the last minute. I was out of options: be homeless or spend time at my boyfriend’s house with his mother.
Being a young girl with strong morals, I was personally opposed to residing in the same house, but I was given a different room upon arrival and assured that his mother would be around.
Looking back, I can truly say I did everything I could. I stayed in public spaces around him, remained modest, and upheld the values I held dear to my heart.
But. It. Didn’t. Matter.
One night went by and all seemed well, but the next day his mother went to her work office to sort out some urgent matters.
My boyfriend, in broad daylight, alone in that country house trapped me. Grabbed me. Heinously defiled me. Bruised me. Cut me. Raped me, destroyed me, and left me.
I was stuck in that house with nowhere to go. A house I never would have been in if Cedarville let me stay. If Cedarville deemed me valuable. Stuck- on the second floor in broad daylight, only one exit from that house. A long flight of stairs down to the main living room full of dog hair and crusty wallpaper and the man who had stolen everything from me in an instant.
I hid in that room and cried for hours. Terrified and broken. I sobbed and sobbed and eventually, he came upstairs. He said he was sorry for what he had done and that he would protect me. I could not tell his mom I could not tell anyone. He said he would ruin me if I ruined him.
Less than 24 hours later he marred me again.
Worse. Much worse. I begged him to let me go see a friend and assured him I would be back. He trusted me and I fled to the hospital where COVID was in full force.
There was no compassion or close contact. I was stripped, tugged, pulled, photographed, tested, treated, and discharged. They took my clothes, took my hair, took my blood, and took my dignity. They sent me out of the hospital doors wearing a prisoner’s grey jumpsuit broken by the world and turned into a lost scared little girl fearing for her life.
I was referred to a sheriff who took on my case and then I was forced to return to the house I was attacked in to retrieve my few belongings.
I called my pastor’s wife at the time who said she was so sorry this happened and she told me she would help me.
No compassion could be found at Cedarville. Instead, this student found rejection, disbelief, and silence.
I spent the night alone in my car and the next morning I contacted Cedarville. The one place that could actually keep me safe until I could go home. Their campus dining and residence were still open to the elite few, I knew they could take me in. The only one who could provide me with what I needed during the most vulnerable time in my life. I was hoping I would find respite in a time that NEVER should have occurred if Cedarville had allowed me to stay in the first place, but because I was not the elected elite few and not a shining star in Mindy May’s eyes, she sent me packing.
I spoke to one of Cedarville’s licensed counselors who told me she was so sorry but could not talk to me on the phone because the counseling office was no longer open. She referred me to title 1X who told me to file a police report and turn it into her.
From there I got connected with my campus Pastor’s wife, who also worked as a staff member on Cedarville’s campus; she assured me they would find me safe. She contacted Mindy May personally and with my permission, told Mindy everything that happened. She explained that I needed access to my belongings in my dorm as most of the items I had taken with me were absconded from me and that I needed temporary housing to keep me safe from the man who was threatening to permanently harm me again and to hurt my family. Cedarville was the safest place I could be. I knew Cedarville. In my broken, vulnerable, physical, and mentally shattered state I needed safety.
Cedarville preached God’s love and safety but never gave it. Hypocrites.
My pastor’s wife told Mindy how I had been raped and how I was left with nowhere to go. She made valid all the reasons why I needed to be back on campus and allowed in with the elite few.
Yet Mindy still said no.
She deemed the risk of one more student staying on campus too high to overcome. She told the Cedarville staff member to help me find a residence but that Cedarville did not want to be put at a higher risk for coronavirus so she would not let me return.
In doing so she proved that unless you are a chosen selected valuable few to Cedarville you are disposable. Cedarville offered no protection to me- the disabled. No protection to me- the homeless. No protection to me- the raped. It did not matter because I was disposable.
The real truth is if Doctor White or Mind May’s imaginary daughter had been in a situation where they would be homeless Cedarville never would have forced them to leave. They would have never gotten hurt and they certainly would have made room for them to return. But I was not valuable enough.
I was left disregarded and sent to a random stranger’s house. Hoping to goodness my attacker did not find me. Bleeding, sick, and hurt, hiding in a stranger’s house with a stranger’s belongings and trying not to completely lose hope.
Hurt, marred and stunned by the world, I get a call from Cedarville’s Title IX who implies I could be the problem. I was asked if there was anything you did wrong? If I possibly tempted him? I was told he should not have done that even if I was butt naked dancing in a strip show, but still, maybe I tempted him. Compassion with twisted ideology. Questions with manipulation and false conceived mercy with guilt. I had done nothing wrong yet I felt I was the one to blame.
Cedarville, a school that preaches love and acceptance maintains a defiled view of the life of its students. Cedarville, a group that challenges compassion for those in need will trample over you if you are not like them. Cedarville, an institution paid to provide housing and food will take that from you if deemed necessary.
It sickens me to know that the woman who made the decision for the trajectory of my safety and my life during such a vitally vulnerable time still has the ability to make decisions over many girls’ life. She remains the Dean of Women to this day. It sickens me to know I will spend many years in debt trying to pay back the hospital bills that never should have occurred. It sickens me to know that I will spend thousands of dollars and twenty years of my life paying back Cedarville student loans that should no longer be my responsibility. It sickens me to know that a God of love and a God of justice is being presented at Cedarville yet no justice has been brought for what I was forced to endure.
While I have endured this great tragedy that never should have occurred, I still pray for Cedarville, I pray for their students, and I pray justice will be brought for their failures and what I was forced to endure by their hands.
2. Silenced at Every Level
The victim in this story has asked to be called Kat, not her real name. It is customary to allow pseudonyms in such circumstances. However, I know her actual name. Kat graduated from Cedarville University and stayed on to work in Admissions. At one point, she was transferred to work in admissions for the School of Pharmacy where the following incidents took place.
Please note that Dr Tom White did not appear to participate in this situation despite the fact that this involved the head of the School of Pharmacy. I find that unusual and wonder if he routinely removes himself from *uncomfortable* situations.
I think this post will be well served by opening with these thoughts by Kat.
As a former employee of Cedarville, I do not believe that the actions of those in leadership in this case represented the values and character of the faculty and staff that I had the opportunity to work with. I believe that Cedarville has a strong foundation built from individuals who desire to show students and the world how to live “For the Word of God, and the Testimony of Jesus Christ”. Unfortunately, this was not reflected in the tough decisions that needed to be made by those in leadership.
I share my story in the hope that 1) change will be made in the policies and procedures of the HR department in the way that cases are handled, and that those sharing their stories are protected and not made to be the enemy. 2) I hope that in sharing my story, those who have dealt with similar issues, or worse, are given the confidence to stand up and share; share that they are of value, and know their worth and won’t take anything less than that from anyone, especially those in power.
If anyone who reads this is wavering at the idea of sharing know this: I was scared too. Taking that first step is hard, but I sought out my church family and friends and found nothing but love and support. I would not have reached this point without them. If you feel uncomfortable, it is okay to say something. That is all the permission you need.
The initial meeting with Human Resources and Title IX
Kat first met with these folks to discuss her concerns.
I met with head of HR who stated that they decided to conduct a review instead of my initial request of just putting it on file (I was nervous as to what would happen if he was alerted to the situation)
The Title IX coordinator asked her if she would prefer a formal or informal hearing. She would soon find out that they would not allow her a choice in the matter. It just sounded nice to ask, I guess.
Kat then brought the following letter which outlined her complaint of sexual harassment to Human Resources.
On Tuesday, October 9th between 1-2pm, Marc Sweeney stopped by my office to connect about the Pharmacy Admissions website. While walking in, he said:
“Hey Babe…actually I probably shouldn’t call you that.” And then laughed.
Later that day, between 4-5pm, as I was about to walk into Professor Pinkerton’s office to ask a question, when Marc, walking down the hallway, asked me how I was doing. I was facing the door with my right hand on Professor Pinkerton’s doorknob. As I responded, he reached across my stomach and placed his hand above my hip. Then removed it and kept walking down the hallway. I opened the door and walk into the office.
After the second incident, I was uncomfortable and felt violated. I was reminded of the comment from earlier in the day, and was more troubled after connecting both incidents. I decided to connect with HR about the matter.
I filed a report in case a similar situation happened again. Nothing like this has happened previously, but I felt that this crossed the line of my personal space, was highly inappropriate and unprofessional. I felt it was important to bring forward in case this happened to someone else.
Marc Sweeney’s responded to her HR letter and appears to claim to have had problems in the past.
Pay close attention to the wording in the letter. He admitted to the behavior and claimed that he comes from a past which allowed such *joking.* He actually called such past behavior as *normal* and *typical.*Ummm, not in my world. He had met with Human Resources prior to sending this letter. Did they help him write the letter? Did they explore his past for other similar complaints? Who knows? They sure aren’t talking….
I removed Kat’s name from the beginning of the letter in which Marc Sweeney said he was responding to her complaint.
At this point he claimed that he respected her and believed she is a great employee. He said he would do:
It is obvious that the school wished to avoid a formal hearing.
At this point Kat requested a formal review.
Her husband wrote the following letter to champion her request
To whom it may concern,
As Kat’s husband I stand behind the decision for a formal process for the actions of Marc against my wife. I believe Jesus in Matthew 5:27-30 outlines cleary how severe this sexual sin needs to be handled.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
As a Christian institution, I understand the push for reconciliation through an informal process similar to the church discipline process. However, the Bible is very clear that sin of a sexual nature is a dangerous slope. We see it in the old testament with David and the snowball of sin he commits in attempt to cover it up. In the aforementioned passage, Jesus says that lust must be dealt with drastically in order reconcile the whole body. I am thankful that Marc has admitted and repented, but that does not diminish the severity of this sin and the consequences.
Based on Marc’s own admission this behavior is something that has been a part of his work culture in the past. This worries me that my wife was not the first woman and may not be the last. Especially considering that he is responsible for the care of young, female pharmacy students. The formal process establishes transparency for Marc’s actions to his bosses, his staff and those who he is responsible for. It will cause pain to him and disrupt the department but this is necessary in order to root out this sin that has been and is currently a struggle in Marc’s life. The formal process is mandatory to re-establish an environment of trust and respect that my wife and other women can work in without fear of further inappropriate behavior and fear of retaliation.
I understand that in your eyes it may be harsh that I am calling his actions a sexual sin. However, if he had placed his hand 6 inches high or lower, this situation escalates to the police, the public and would lead to years of challenges for our marriage, damage to the University and cause traumatic damage to Marc’s wife and children. 6 inches. If the victim was your spouse or daughter I believe you would agree that a formal process is obligatory for reconciliation.
Sadly, a few days later, their request for a formal hearing was denied.
It appears to this writer that they had no say in the matter. In such circumstances, I believe that this reality should have been laid on the table from the start. This seems like gamesmanship to me. I am not sure why they avoided the formal hearing. What was it about this procedure that it appears to have been avoided at all costs? Anyone want to weigh in here?
I received an email from HR denying (by denying (the formal hearing). The email stated
“We believe pursing preventative and disciplinary action does not require the formal process, since those aspects are the responsibility of Dr. Mach and not of the formal hearing committee.”) my formal review request.
Kat thought this process was troublesome.
…nothing in the policy states who makes the decision, or if the request for a certain review process can be denied)
A meeting took place with Dr Mach and Human Resources in early November in which she shared more uncomfortable encounters with Sweeney.
I was asked to restate what happened. They then asked questions regarding previous interactions with him. I shared that in retrospect, there were other incidents that were concerning to me regarding comments only clothing, shoes and hair.
I said that I believed the change in his conduct with me connection occurred when he met with me for a yearly review that he conducts with all faculty/staff in the school of pharmacy
After bringing me out to lunch (he brings each person out to lunch or coffee) he came into my office and said that he enjoyed his connection with me and wanted to find a way to work with me further. During lunch, he had also asked questions about where I wanted to be in the next 5 years in my career, and I shared my passion for graphic design, and desire to work in the design field as a brand manager helping companies with their overall verbal and visual communication.
He let me know that he also ran another company called Profero. He implied that wanted me to work on their marketing, communication, and overall company branding. He also offered to make connections with other companies/small businesses as well.
I was excited for the opportunity to get paid for what I wanted to do in the future, and have the Dean help provide some connections. This meeting was very professional, and did not cause me to question any ulterior motives. However, I can now see that his interactions started to change with me from this point. Over the summer, he would stop by my office to ask random, non-work questions, and began commenting and asking about my shoes.
During the meeting, HR asked again if I would accept the informal approach. I requested the guarantees that are in the formal process in writing, and said if I received those, I would be willing to go with the informal process. I received in an email after the meeting which are (pulled directly from his email to me). These guarantees were:
• Implement appropriate disciplinary measures
• Record this incident and the disciplinary measures in the personnel record
• Inform the president of these proceedings
• Establish safeguards for the School of Pharmacy moving forward
Later in November, there was another meeting with Kat and Dr. Mach
During that meeting, a letter was read to her that discussed a reprimand of Dr Sweeney. After the meeting, Kat requested a copy of that letter and her request was denied. Here is Dr Mach’s response to Kat.
Kat noticed that she began to be avoided by others.
As time went on, Dr Sweeney avoided contact with Kat. Unfortunately, the atmosphere became strained and Kat found herself isolated. There were few conversations or normal, day to day interactions with those who worked in her division. Kat decided it was time to leave and fortunately found a good position in marketing. She resigned about 7 months after the process began.
Here is a note from John Davis as she exited the university.
Here is what Kat wrote when she left Cedarville
3. Maybe it was your fault
Hello. I was sexually assaulted/raped my freshman year at Cedarville off campus. When I came to Title 9 they sent me to Mindy May. I was in desperate need of counseling and I was denied it. In my conversation with Mindy May I distinctly remember her asking questions as if I “lead him on” or “asked for it”. Questions like: Well what were you wearing? And Were you drinking? This made me question if it was my fault. It took me 3 years to believe it wasn’t my fault, but she was not the only one who asked me those types of questions. Talking to Mindy about what happened she told me that I would be put on a waitlist for counseling. That she didn’t have any room for me. I was sent packing on my own. I had to go find counseling else where, which would have been fine, but money was tight and I couldn’t afford it. I remember crying in Mindys couch a second time. I tried explaining my situation, but she still turned me away.
Now before I continue I am not taking away the situations that people who were in counseling were going through. Everyone’s trauma and pain is the same in the Lord’s eyes. All pain is hard and everyone deserves the counseling they need. But when I found out who was in counseling. It was those who were “important” to Cedarville. Those who were popular: athletes, class presidents and treasures, those well known to Cedarville. Like I said, their pain is important and shouldn’t be looked upon as lower, but neither should anyone else’s. I know so many people who were turned away because they were the “important” people at CU. The select privilege.
4. Washing their Hands
Todd Wilhelm wrote for The Wartburg Watch, “Yesterday I heard from a trusted friend who keeps me apprised of the latest happenings at Cedarville University. My friend told me that all chairs and deans received an email last week (one week after White informed the students that Cedarville University will be a university that cares well for victims) saying that the Cedarville University Counseling Center has never done anything wrong and that none of the students’ stories are true. The chairs and deans were instructed to advise all the faculty in their department meetings Friday morning (8/28) of this news.”
5. NDA the Problem Away
The Wartburg Watch also recounts the story of a former student who experienced an eating disorder and suicidal ideations. They met with Dr. Jon Wood (Vice President of Academics) and Dr. Mindy May (Vice President of mishandling mental health concerns). These, at the time, unlicensed individuals decided she was fine and no action was needed. Apparently, Dr. Wood found it much more interesting how people pronounce “crayons.” In spite of May and Wood’s evaluation, their friends brought them to Kettering and they were hospitalized. Tragically, they were sexually assaulted while hospitalized. After returning to campus, they were forced to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement about their experience.
6. No Consequences, No Care
Another story recounts a student named Kiara experiencing mental health issues and a roommate (an aspiring RA, no less) who spread false sexual rumors about her and rumors about her mental health on campus. Mindy May addressed this issue by meeting with her and her family at the field house during registration, surrounded by hundreds of students and their families. Very private. Mindy May disclosed that the roommate had admitted she spread those rumors after previously telling Kiara that the RA position would not be granted if her accusation was true.
Here’s the kicker: Mindy May gave her the RA position back anyway.
Kiara requested a No Contact Order against the girl through the Title IX office. The Title IX office approved her request. She was told any proximity of her former roommate to herself constituted a violation and her roommate was required to leave the line. When violations occurred, Mindy May responded that these were not, in fact, violations. In fact, she informed Kiara that her story probably wasn’t accurate and that she was inaccurate in her details.
Harassment continued to occur from this now RA towards Kiara and Mindy May continued to ignore her requests. Appeals as far as Dr. White were ignored and belittled. Kiara became actively suicidal and was hospitalized. Two days after her release, she was informed she had a meeting with Dr. Wood and Dr. May to discuss. In this meeting, Kiara was belittled and Dr. Wood actually rolled his eyes at her as she recounted the harassment she was experiencing. Her parents emailed Dr. White. She was given the number for campus safety in case she ever felt like killing herself again. Dr. White never responded.
7. Moore than Ignorance
From the Justice Collective’s petition to fire Dr. White.
Dr. White has admitted he knowingly hired Anthony Moore, a sexual predator, as a professor and special assistant at Cedarville University. Dr. White hired Moore just six months after he was fired from The Village Church in Texas in 2017. White defends his decision, saying he wanted to help restore this fallen brother with grace and accountability:
As Dr. White admits, he knew “that Moore had made multiple, secret videos of Moore’s former youth pastor” while a pastor at The Village Church in Texas. White also knew this behavior was recent–the firing took place in January of 2017, the hiring took place just a few months later. Dr. White knew Moore had been fired for this voyeurism. White said he knew there’d been “two videos” made. For some reason, the fact that he’s now learned Moore actually made “five videos” is somehow supposed to excuse White’s “mistake” in hiring him.
It’d be laughable if it weren’t so serious.
The well-documented article linked to above also reports that the victim suffered for over ten years from Anthony Moore’s “emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse”. It is clear, therefore, that Moore’s abusive personality has demonstrated grievous behavior in many ways for a very long time. There is no record of Moore’s apology for this kind of abuse either.
Emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse can lead to many emotional and physical health problems in the victim, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicide, and poor physical health. Voyeurism is an act of sexual assault:
Whether voyeurism happens once, twice, or five times, it is an act that violates the victim’s body, sense of security, and privacy. It is a vile act. It neither allows the victim any consent nor provides for the victim’s safety and security. It is a selfish, creepy act, too. It also more than likely involved repeated viewing, whether the victim’s undressing was caught in one video or five. Moore could have pleasured himself hundreds of times from just one video alone, after all.
Therefore, Dr. White’s defense of his decision to hire Moore is both naive and illogical. White had discussed Moore’s criminal behavior with leaders at The Village Church back in 2017. By their own account, they told him everything. Therefore, Dr. White knew enough information–had enough details about Moore’s criminal behavior–to likewise know he should not hire Moore, especially just six months after he’d been fired. Yet, he did.
Since 2017, Moore has not only taught classes at CU but also coached the men’s basketball team where yes, he was permitted in the locker room, albeit with others who knew his proclivities (that safeguard is supposed to comfort us). He likewise coached local soccer teams, was elevated into teaching roles at Dr. White’s Cedarville church, and gave young people rides home to and from activities. Dr. White’s actions, therefore, placed an entire community at risk. Whatever safeguards Dr. White put in place is beside the point. They could never ensure Moore would be monitored 24/7.
What parents would knowingly allow their son to play on Moore’s basketball team? What parents would knowingly allow their children to sit under Moore’s teaching? What parents would knowingly allow their children to be mentored by this man?
But the parents didn’t know. Neither did the students. It was a well-kept secret. Thus, White committed a vile act as well: He did not allow parents and students any chance to consent, or not consent, to being coached or taught by Moore. He likewise allowed them no opportunity to take whatever extra precautions they might deem necessary to protect their children or themselves. White set up his version of safeguards but didn’t allow unwitting parents and students to do likewise.
That was an unconscionable act on Dr. White’s part. He placed a old friend above the safety and security of the faculty, staff, and students at Cedarville University and took away every CU parent’s right to protect their children.
In so doing, Dr. White invited a known abuser and sexual predator into the community. In fact, faculty and staff remember well the meeting in which Dr. White told them he was going to hire Moore. He met with them in the SSC Theatre in 2017 and told them he was going to hire a man who’d “made a mistake” but was repentant. He manipulated his audience, telling them he wanted CU to be known as a place of “generous grace.” Therefore, he also told them that they were not permitted to ask any questions about the candidate. Dr. White also informed them they were not permitted to object to the hiring or research information about Moore. Dr. White shared no specific details about the “mistake.” Therefore, despite feeling quite uncomfortable about the decision, CU faculty and staff had no say in the matter and no knowledge of Moore’s history of abuse and voyeurism.
In short, when Dr. White claims in his blog that he “communicated clearly to our faculty and staff” the details of the situation, he is not being truthful.
The buck starts and stops with Dr. White.
We, too, believe in grace and forgiveness. We, too, believe in restoring the one lost sheep who’s wandered away from the ninety-nine. However, such restoration can never happen WHILE the other ninety-nine (or 4000+) sheep are unknowingly and thus, unethically used and put at risk in the process.
Therefore, Dr. Thomas White must be fired immediately.
I do not have the capability to share every story I know because it would fill an entire book. But it is clear that Cedarville does not do its due diligence in addressing Title IX complaints.
Unfortunately, at this point, corruption is evident within the administration. Any one person who tries to go against it gets a stern talking-to from Mindy May, Jon Wood, Thomas Mach, or Brad Smith alongside a threat to be removed. However, this is exactly why awareness is extremely important, especially in the way we treat others. While this article has focused on the negative, there are redeeming qualities about Cedarville. The school’s academics are highly rigorous and there are many students who value the humanity and well-being of others. However, these qualities do not excuse the real issues that need to be addressed. The administration ultimately does not define the campus culture, we do. So from whatever position you are as a student, faculty member, staff member, or parent, stay committed to shedding light on abuse and do everything in your power to create a culture of openness, vulnerability, and boundaries. Whether that means talking to your roommate and some friends, making yourself a resource for students you teach, speaking up when you see abuse, or formulating policies that will improve Cedarville’s Title IX response, stand out in courage and take the steps to right the wrongs of the past and pave the way toward a safe, Christ-centered, academically rigorous campus culture.