George Mason University says that United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will continue to teach a single summer course at the Antonin Scalia Law School, despite concerns from the student body that Kavanaugh’s presence made them feel “unsafe.”
“Even if the outcome is painful,” the school’s president, Angel Cabrera, told a group of students who gathered at a “town hall” even earlier this week, “what’s at stake is very, very important for the integrity of the university.”
The school’s provost noted that George Mason saw “no reason for university administrators to override” the law school’s decision to welcome Kavanaugh as a guest lecturer during the summer semester, and Cabrera agreed, even though the students at the town hall were left completely bewildered as to why the administration had failed to take their “mental health” into consideration when extending an invitation to Kavanaugh.
The Huffington Post reports that students organized the town hall as a protest, alongside an ad campaign and a petition, which received around 10,000 signatures. But it was to no avail.
“Even if in this particular case the outcome is one that you deeply disagree with, the process by which these decisions are made and the reason why we are so firm in defending them is actually essential to the way a university like ours operates,” Cabrera insisted to the students.
The town hall, arranged by anti-sexual assault activists on campus, quickly turned, then, from a discussion between students and administrations into an airing of grievances, with students openly condemning Kavanaugh for his own “alleged sexual assault” — a single accusation of impropriety leveled by a former high school classmate about an incident that took place decades ago, and which the FBI could find no proof of. Kavanaugh has routinely and stridently denied the allegation.
One activist even suggested the Kavanaugh contract — which has the Supreme Court justice teaching a single class for the next three summers at the school’s campus in the United Kingdom (not even in the continental U.S.) — was evidence that GMU somehow encouraged sexual violence on campus.
“How could Kavanaugh possibly be hired despite Ford’s allegations? Why is the college student that recorded women in the bathroom still on this campus?” said one protester, according to HuffPo. “A blatantly obvious response by GMU [would be one] that states that first they do not believe Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony and second do not care about the safety of their students.”
“In hiring Kavanaugh, to what extent did you consider the mental health of the survivors on campus and how that might affect them and their education?” asked another — a question which HuffPo describes as earning “snaps” from the gathered students (clapping is, it seems, now considered triggering).
Others were left simply baffled.
“Oh, my God,” one female student said aloud.
“Why?” asked another, to no one in particular.
Kavanaugh, of course, defended himself against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations in an appearance under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has now served on the Supreme Court for half a term.
Author: Emily Zanotti