Posted on behalf of Staff Writer Kristina Norgard
In light of the recent hearings, testimonies, and confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, there has been a flood of varying emotions and opinions from people all over the country. These events in the country are reflected on St. Mary’s campus as well. The Point News reached out to organizations on campus for their opinions to try and grasp how the campus is looking at the current situation.
“As an organization of people concerned about equality, justice, safety, and in particular the treatment of women, FUSE is disappointed to see yet another man accused of heinous crimes elevated to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Beatrice Burroughs, co-president of FUSE told TPN via email, speaking on behalf of the club. “This is not the first time, nor do we expect it will be the last, that the nation turns its back on survivors of sexual violence.” Burroughs also applauded the courage of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who came forward with sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. Burroughs stated they were “not shocked” at Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but were disappointed as a group. “There has been more than enough evidence that our country merely pays lip service to notions of equity, protection of bodily autonomy, and especially to survivors of sexual violence.” Burroughs ended the statement by telling survivors of sexual violence “as always; we see you, we hear you, and we believe you.”
Grayson McNew, speaking on behalf of the College Republicans, told TPN that this month, “the nation watched as the Senate would fulfill its duties outlined under article two section two of the constitution to ‘Advise and Consent’ on the President’s nominee. Instead what occurred was a scorched earth hearing that sought to pit right against left, men against women, and the only result was tears, anger, and anguish.” The club held that the politicization of the judicial process is dangerous, and erodes the legitimacy of the court. “With hearings like Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, we are politicizing a judicial process and eroding public trust. Do you believe Democrats will trust any rulings that Kavanaugh hands down? Likely not, we have cast doubt on anything he will do; the same can be said of Gorsuch.” McNew made it clear that this was not just the left, but also “if the roles were reversed I am sure that Republicans too would not trust a ruling by a liberal Justice.” McNew also questioned polarization of the American political system. “Polarization in politics is the new status quo but we can not allow it to become the status quo of the court.” McNew concluded by telling students to change the status quo of polarization and party self-interest by voting. “The election is November 6th, and when you go to vote think about whether who you are voting for is best for your needs or your party. I [implore] you to vote for what you want, not your party.”
On September 28, Title IX Coordinator, Michael Dunn sent an announcement to the campus via InsideSMCM, “Our Community and the Testimony of Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey”, supporting the community, “Many of us have been paying close attention to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this week. The testimony from Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh has elicited strong emotions and been very impactful, both personally and professionally.” Dunn asked for students to reach out to Title IX, the Wellness Center, and SMART and let them know what they can do “to support you or help our community process everything that’s going on.” Dunn reinstated that “it’s important to acknowledge this historical and cultural moment, and to acknowledge that many of us are grappling with what’s going on in deeply personal ways.”