‘I’m Scared Of The Country I’ll Be Coming Home To’: Students react to Kavanaugh


Retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, right, administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Justices’ Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building. Ashley Kavanaugh holds the Bible. At left are their daughters, Margaret, background, and Liza. (Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via AP)

University of Connecticut students have expressed a range of opinions about Brett Kavanaugh being sworn in as an associate justice to the U.S Supreme Court Saturday morning.

Stanford professor Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school led to an FBI investigation. Despite these allegations, the Senate vote was 50 to 48 in Kavanaugh’s favor.

Adrianna Simmons, a third-semester acting major, is studying abroad in London this semester and said she feels helpless that she cannot stand in solidarity in person.

“I’m studying abroad this semester and I’m scared of the country I’ll be coming home to,” Simmons said. “In the same way that I felt afraid to be a new freshman on campus when a sexual predator was elected to the presidency, I am afraid to return to a country where sexual assault is not seen as offensive enough to prevent someone from being voted into our highest offices.”

Simmons said that the worst part about her coming home is returning to the atmosphere where rapes are overlooked.

“Once again, all the predators out there were just told that their actions are excusable,” Simmons said. “The only thing worse than peddling ‘rapes don’t happen’ is saying ‘rapes do happen, we just don’t care.’ So I’m not looking forward to returning to that environment.”

Hannah Smith, a fifth-semester history and women’s, gender and sexuality studies double major, said she is scared because the United States is becoming divided.

“I’m scared about the future of our nation,” Smith said. “It becomes more and more divided. It has become red versus blue, not what the country actually needs. (Democrats) blindly follow (Democrats) and (Republicans) blindly following (Republicans). We needed a more neutral nominee, not someone who is the most controversial appointee since 1881.”

Christine Savino, undergraduate board of trustees representative and a senior business management major, said she believes Ford was sexually assaulted but said that not confirming Kavanaugh based on the allegations alone would have set a dangerous precedent for a lack of due process in federal government.

“Sexual assault of any kind is immoral and inhumane,” Savino said. “If the confirmation and events in question were moral is an unfortunately separate inquiry from if they were legal. Even if the allegations were filed in civil court, a preponderance of evidence would likely have not been met due to a lack of evidence and an abundance of conflicting witness accounts.”

Rik Emery, a seventh-semester physiology and neurobiology major with a music minor, said he thinks Kavanaugh committed perjury during his trials.

“Kavanaugh lied to the Senate quite clearly, especially in the example of defining ‘boofing,’” Emery said. “The subject itself isn’t particularly of interest to me, but the fact that he lied about anything makes him guilty of perjury. He knows this, being a judge. We know what ‘boofing’ means. This is outrageous.”

An anonymous fifth-semester finance major said he is afraid of the effects of the #MeToo movement.

“This fiasco shows how every male should be very concerned with how a single woman’s word, however baseless, can destroy their life,” the student said. “I am scared beyond belief. The actions of the Democrats have done severe harm to the real victims of sexual assault, and I truly feel bad for them. But this whole charade shows how the whole #MeToo movement has gone way too far.”

Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.philipson@uconn.edu.

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