The faculty members of the Department of Psychology were appalled and outraged to read about the alleged abusive behavior of Fr. Daniel O’Connell, S.J., who taught Psychology courses from 1988 to 1998. Although most of the current members of the Psychology Department were hired after Fr. O’Connell’s departure, none of us know of any incidences or reports of abusive behavior by Fr. O’Connell during his time at Georgetown, and we certainly did not know about any allegations against and legal settlements in connection with him when he was invited to give a seminar at Georgetown in 2008.
We are grateful for the courage of the women from St. Louis University and Fordham who reported that they had been abused and we were saddened, angered, and disappointed that Fr. O’Connell spent a part of his professional career as a member of our community. We categorically condemn any abusive behavior and stand in solidarity with survivors.
As teachers and mentors, the welfare of our students is our foremost priority. We reiterate this commitment and continue our efforts to serve students with the highest standards of professional conduct.
Georgetown has a number of fully confidential professional resources that can provide support and assistance to survivors of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct.
These resources include:
Jen Schweer, MA, LPC
Associate Director of Health Education Services for Sexual Assault Response and Prevention
Erica Shirley, Trauma Specialist
Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
More information about campus resources and reporting sexual misconduct can be found at http://sexualassault.georgetown.edu.
The Title IX Coordinators help provide a safe educational and work environment to students and employees as they provide information about on- and off-campus resources, explain the University’s formal complaint process, help individuals navigate through the University’s systems, and monitor the University’s climate with respect to sexual misconduct.
CAPS offers a variety of counseling and psychiatric services to students. Evaluations, consultations, and group therapy are free of charge. For ongoing treatment, there is a modest fee of $10 per psychotherapy visit and $15 per psychiatry visit. CAPS will work with students to overcome any financial barriers to treatment.
HES offers confidential resources to students around the issues of pregnancy, alcohol and drug use, sexual health, eating disorders and disturbances, sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, stress management, and general health promotion. All services are FREE and confidential.
The MedStar/Georgetown Student Health Center, with offices on the main campus and at the law center, offers confidential services on all health matters, including health education.
SOS works with colleagues across campus to organize outreach and follow-up care to students who are experiencing crisis or distress that impacts their social, personal and/or academic stability.
The ARC offers disability support, study skills workshops and individual consultations for students experiencing academic issues. The ARC works with students who need accommodations for chronic health, physical, cognitive, and psychological conditions. The ARC strives to work collaboratively with the academic deans’ offices, faculty, and other University offices to ensure that students receive the necessary support to achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals.
The CMEA enhances the education of students historically denied access to Georgetown University because of their race or ethnicity. The CMEA provides mentoring, multicultural programming, diversity education, and academic support. You may stop by in person or contact the office by phone.
Through the Bias Incident Reporting Form (found on the website) or calls to the Georgetown University Police Department (202-687-4343), Georgetown is able to track and review hate and bias-related incidents. Reporting the incident may lead to an investigation, following which the University can hold the accused accountable for their acts. Incidents of hate and bias involving email, online harassment, or other forms of internet abuse should be reported to University Information Services (UIS) at (202) 687-4949.