Catholic college sued over dorm sex complaints

Details:

Stonehill College graduate sued the Catholic school in federal court, Wednesday, alleging pre-existing psychological problems worsened after administrators refused to let her move to a single dormitory room to escape her roommate’s frequent sexual trysts with guests in their shared room.

In suing the Easton, Mass. private college, Lindsay Blankmeyer cites federal and state antidiscrimination laws. She argues her mental illness entitled her to accommodations including being spared her roommate’s alleged behavior.

“The roommate was having online and actual sex right in front of her,” the suit states. A residence hall director “did nothing to alleviate the problem,” the complaint adds.

After Stonehill administrators refused Blankmeyer’s request for a single room, the suit states, she “fell into a dark and suicidal depression requiring her to take a leave of absence from school and undergo extensive psychiatric and medical treatment.”

The suit alleges Stonehill’s actions not only deprived Blankmeyer of a reasonable living situation, but that in tolerating the alleged behavior Stonehill administrators defied standards of conduct that should have been enforced at a Roman Catholic institution.

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Additional reporting here.

  • Joanc57

    Can’t say I blame the girl for suing; I can’t see how you can make this up. I’ve experienced this roommate problem myself and know others who have as well, back in the seventies. It’s awful.

  • Scout

    It’s all about sex. It’s what discussions involving our Church have all become. This post is going to be used to support those who say that our Catholic Colleges and Universities have lost their ways. Forget what other good things might be happening, the Universities are all going to hell in a handbasket and a great example of this is that at Stonehill College, a girl’s roommate was having sex in the room and the school apparently did nothing. Throw in the liberal professors and Notre Dame inviting Obama, and it proves how far off the rails we have all fallen.

    There must be something else going on, in our Church and at our Universities. We must still help the poor. We must still work with the sick and prisoners. It must still be important to reach out to the immigrant and the homeless. I know we visit the elderly and tutor the uneducated. There are countries where people are starving, and I know the Church is there, helping and comforting. These people aren’t all caught up in contraception, gay marriage, and sex in dorms.

    Many university students at Catholic institutions are good and holy people, and many of them don’t have these sexually oriented issues, or religious liberty issues, on their front burners. They look for the Church to help them grow and deepen their relationship with God and with the people of God. They often question the Church, yet go to Mass and pray and struggle.

    Why is it all about sex?

  • RomCath

    It’s all about sex because that’s where our culture has lead us. Do you read the newspapers? Sex is what sells and our young people have been indoctrinated in ways that we never were.
    As for the colleges, very few are truly Catholic anymore. They call themselves colleges in the “Catholic tradition”. Let’s stop calling them Catholic anyway as it has been a long time since they were–look at Georgetown and most of the Jesuit colleges.

  • Scout

    If it’s the culture (whoever that is) has led us to sex, than I think as a Church we should be leading people to what’s really important in this life. Instead of saying “NO” all of the time (no matter how appropriate that “no” might be), if we showed young people the beauty found in loving and serving neighbor, if we as a Church showed we were different, that we were good and kind and compassionate and welcoming and we cared about things that matter, that this led to happiness and meaning in life, perhaps they would start to follow us and the culture would begin to change. When we get in the mud with the “culture”, when we seem by our actions to agree that it’s all about sex (only in our case we’re “against” all that stuff), we’re no different and we lose so many people.

  • michigancatholic

    Can’t blame the girl for suing, if this is what really happened. She paid tuition and board for a college education, not a front seat in a brothel.
    Catholic schools have got to clean up their act, because this is far from the only case of this sort of behavior.
    This is horrendous.

  • michigancatholic

    Why is it all about sex? Because that’s what Americans value. Take a look at your TV. Take a long big picture look at the magazine rack in your local grocery store.

    American Catholics, because of poor catechesis and poor preaching, don’t differ much from non-Catholic Americans. They have virtually no discipline and no understanding of the Church other than as a place where they can go to hear comfortable messages of self-affirmation.

    American Catholics need to hear homilies on birth control, and a little persecution wouldn’t hurt us. The persecution we’re enduring right now is exactly on the topic of sex, and there is a sense in which we deserve it 100%.

  • michigancatholic

    That will only happen when we hear homilies on birth control and abortion. This has to be taught, and people have to face it. Wishing doesn’t cut it. Osmosis doesn’t cut it. Catholics have to stop being dainty and wishy-washy about sin.

  • michigancatholic

    We have to nail this, be direct about it, make it understood 100% and then get on with being Catholic. Until we do actually confront it, it will be hanging around like a bad dream that won’t go away. It’s time to confront it.

  • Scout

    Couldn’t disagree more. People come to the Church through the lived experience of the love of God. Abortion and contraception, preached or taken out of the context of the love of God and neighbor, will turn people off (we’ll ignore the fact that it doesn’t even impact people over 45). I teach 14 and 15 year old kids…if I come in and tell them abortion is WRONG and contraception is WRONG and you can find this in the CATECHISM…their eyes glaze over and they start texting their friends. But if I take them on a mission trip, or to a soup kitchen, or a battered women’s shelter, and show them God’s love in action, God’s Church in action, they start to open up and listen. Then, handled properly, they’ll be able to start to think and talk about sin and abortion and contraception, and how it impacts their lives and relationship with God.

  • Scout

    As we watch our brothers and sisters in places like the Sudan, Iran, Iraq, communist nations, etc. suffer REAL persecution, we should be very careful about using that word in reference to what’s happening in this country.

  • pagansister

    She paid good money, I’m sure, to attend this private college. Usually they cost more than a public university. The least they could have done was allow her to move to a different room. Her situation could happen anywhere—public or private colleges. In this case, IMO, this is not just a problem of Catholic or other colleges attached to a church. I expect that there are those that feel just because a college/university is run by the Church that it won’t have the same problems that non-sectarian schools have. Not true, as evidenced by this article.

  • ron chandonia

    “Why is it all about sex?” Scout asks, and it’s an excellent question.

    First of all, I wouldn’t say the Church raised the issue. Social mores in place since time immemorial have been disappearing under the relentless advance of the Sexual Revolution, and we can no longer (as Cathleen Kaveny just said on the Jon Stewart show) take it for granted that others share our basic sense of what natural law requires.

    But, even more to the point, sexual mores affect more than our personal lives and our relationship with God; sexual mores support–or, in our times, undermine–our social structure and the very possibility of our building a just society. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church rightly places the chapter entitled “The family, the vital cell of society” ahead of its discussions of the economic and political justice issues because the family is “a divine institution that stands at the foundation of the life of the human person as the prototype of every social order.” Simply put, it is the collapse of the family in our time that has necessitated the shelters and soup kitchens you mention.

    Promoting healthy sexual behavior and the formation of strong families obviously cannot be done through harping on sexual vices. But Catholics today actually seem ashamed to admit that we believe early sexual restraint is the best preparation for the happiness of lifelong marital commitment. Clearly, the roommate in this story does not accept that premise, and she has entirely too much company–literally and metaphorically.

  • deacon john m. bresnahan

    It’s great to see for once someone going into court over one of the rotten side effects of the moral descent and decay of our country. Of course, the media will go hysterical on the side of those who want to copulate where they want to , when they want to. (and , by the way YOU better pay for the pills and condoms.)
    I think we were better off in the era when bedhopping was considered “screwing around”( in is most insulting meaning).
    But watch TV comedies or dramas and you know our culture-led on by the media–presents bedhopping as just another recreational activity.
    And as venereal disease grows in floodtide damaging millions of lives the media covers it with a Grand Silence.

  • friscoeddie

    Young college aged don’t come to church. My parish is filled with gray hairs who are long gone from the raging hormones.. and to hear cries about birth control , more homilies about sex makes me think where are these people living?

  • Mark

    Friscoe, A church attracts with solid truth, especailly the young. From many of your comments on what is preached at your church, it seems much is in open dissent from essential church teaching. Our Church is filled with strong youth group now over 300 and growing. The first 6-10 pews depending on mass are filled with relatively young adults with growing familes often numbering over 6 kids and they are there and attentive to the mass from early age. Dominicans hold solid to the teacing of the Church and their sermons are filled with solid authentic Catholic teaching. They also provide many programs such as the current one on the DVD series Catholocism by Father Barron with an hour long discussion after each DVD over the ten week time frame. The Sacraments of reconcilliation are held 4 days a week at multiple times and always have lines. Eucharistic adoration happens multiple times each week. The Third order Dominicans are alive and growing bringing us solid leadership going into the future. We had 19 novices last year and 11 more this year in an every expanding growth in vocations. The Sisters of Nashville lead our Schools and teach a number of the grades. The parish is authentic Catholic and alive with growth. Why would anyone come to a church were they were not on fire with the solid belief in all the teacing of that Church.

  • http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com teresa

    Sorry, I am young (in comparison to the “gray haired” and I go to church, in the church in my place I see the building filled with people of all ages groups. If people keep talking so negatively and in such a petty-minded you like you do (I’ve read several of your posts and none of them is saying anything in favour of the Church). Actually, I think it is because of you many young people go away from the church, I am being serious. Because they see a very boring version of the secular world, so what do they have to seek in the Church? A old gentleman who keeps complaining how bad the Church is and how beautiful the secular world is? If people keep listening to you, they will think it is indeed better to go to the beach than coming to the Sunday service? And you want young people? You’ve just sent them away.

  • Bill Kelly

    Another case of the “individual” not taking responsibility for their own life. If the situation was so bad, move out. Who cares where, how or if the institution agrees. Until we stand up for ourselves, no one person or institution will be of any value. The funny part – the lawyers are the only group to benefit from this.

  • John Smith

    Dear all readers of this blog,

    Please do yourselves a favor and “google” the actual articles about this story. We live in a sue-happy society and if any one of you read any article like this about anything else you would not be responding so abruptly.

    The college has legal guidelines that prevent them from controlling the sexuality of their students; however they can offer the roommate (Lindsay) conflict mediation and other rooming options. They did exactly that. If you were in their position, following the same legal guidelines they do, what would any of you do differently?

  • MarieLouise

    Scout, you are right that what little persecution exists in the West is nothing compared to the persecution of Christians in Egypt, the Middle East, China, etc. However, it is getting worse and I believe it is a cause for concern. Here in the UK, preachers (not Catholic, but evangelical) have been arrested merely for telling a passerby what the Bible says about homosexuality (i.e. not saying he agrees, not telling the person they were sinning, just saying that the Bible says that homosexual acts are wrong). Is that as bad as being blown up? No, of course not, and we should admire the courage of Catholics like Shabaz Bhatti in Pakistan because they face persecution the like of which we will probably never see. However, it is a problem if preaching the Bible gets you arrested. Now, this hasn’t happened in the US yet, but the US is following the European tradition in this regard, and I think it’s legitimate to worry.

  • MarieLouise

    I agree with Teresa and Mark. I am 24, I go to Mass every week, work in a Catholic school and fully intend to raise my children Catholic (Latin Mass if I can get them to one but they are a bit scarce around here). If I could, I would be at Latin Mass every week. Furthermore, I converted from the Episcopalian Church, and one of the reasons was that I knew that a church that constantly changed its teachings on what was morally acceptable couldn’t be the Church Christ instituted. At my university chaplaincy, which was very conservative and orthodox, we had a very strong youth group and at least 2/3 of the Mass attendees were students from the university. We ended up providing 30% of all the seminarians in Scotland in the year I graduated. I agree with Mark and Teresa in saying this is a direct result of the fact that the parish was orthodox.


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