Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Campus Ministry Under Review

Concerns over what critics allege is a lack of professionalism of University Chaplain Adam Bunnell, OFM Conv., have prompted the university to perform an internal review of Campus Ministry and its leadership.

University President Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., and his Special Assistant Michael Garanzini, S.J., met with a group of students yesterday to discuss their concerns, according to Vice President for Communications Julie Green-Bataille.

“Fr. O’Donovan was very attentive and interested in what we had to say . but there wasn’t any promise to take action,” said Ory Abramowicz (COL ’02), president of the Jewish Student Association and one of the students at the meeting.

Abramowicz and seven other students submitted a letter to O’Donovan in mid-April detailing their complaints as well as requesting a future discussion.

In the letter to O’Donovan, students accused Bunnell of withholding funds and stifling discussion among campus religious groups. They said students who have confronted Bunnell have been “insulted, yelled at and at times sent away.”

Citing the university’s mission statement to be a community of “serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs [that] promotes intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding,” the students called for a reconsideration of Bunnell’s current position at Georgetown.

Bunnell declined comment yesterday afternoon.

Vice President for Student Affairs Juan C. Gonzalez questioned the accuracy of the students’ letter.

“It’s likely that the authors haven’t acquired all of the facts or ever will,” Gonzalez said. “They aren’t seeing the whole picture . especially the bits and pieces because they concern highly confidential and personnel issues.”

According to Green-Bataille, “the university does not publicly discuss internal management or personnel issues but will address them carefully in dialogue with the appropriate parties.”

Bunnell has asked Garanzini to meet with him and his staff to help work through ways they can better organize their efforts and promote the best possible service to the university community, Green-Bataille said.

In the letter to O’Donovan, students described their experiences as disheartening.

“There is no single precipitating event that has led to this concerted effort on our part. Over time, we have found that students and staff of all faith traditions share similarly disheartening experiences of combativeness, tension, frustration and fear with the university chaplain,” the students wrote.

Abramowicz said he did not think Bunnell is the ideal individual for the position.

“If every constituent is unhappy, it can’t be the constituents in the wrong,” he said. “I feel like we have tried to present these ideas to different people and things just have not changed.”

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