University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst sent an email yesterday morning to the UConn community regarding the recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“For all of us at the university, regardless of one’s view of the nominee, the confirmation process, or one’s own personal political ideology, the issue of sexual assault has clearly been on the forefront of this process and our national consciousness in recent weeks,” Herbst said in the email.
Herbst said that, despite the nationwide debate, the student body at UConn has already shown moral respect and appreciation for others around campus.
“The hallmarks of your generation are kindness, empathy, inclusivity and respect,” Herbst said. “You appreciate the importance of true diversity and the respect everyone deserves. No one has to teach you this, because you know it already.”
Herbst said UConn is always vigilant in dealing with sexual assault and any possible Title IX violations.
“We are just a small corner of the world, but UConn is a home and a workplace for thousands of people,” Herbst said. “We endeavor never to lose sight of our values, and what is most important to our community.”
Abigail Sloan, a fifth-semester political science and psychology double major, said she is happy Herbst is opening a dialogue on sexual assault, especially on college campuses.
“Many people try to ignore politics and move on as soon as possible,” Sloan said. “But these political conversations are important – when we stop talking, we lose our power.”
Sloan said Herbst is distinguished by her ability to address a touchy topic in college-age students.
“Although universities are often slammed for not doing enough about sexual assault on campus, I think Susan Herbst reaching out is a step in the right direction,” Sloan said.
Fabio Saccomanno, a third-semester molecular and cell biology major, said an important aspect of Herbst’s reaction was remaining unbiased.
“As a public university, we must foster dialogue that encompasses all opinion,” Saccomanno said. “In order to do so, the administration must remain neutral.”
Saccomanno said Herbst did a great job clarifying the nature of sexual assault implications on campus.
“President Herbst’s message made it clear that UConn supports survivors of sexual assault and that sexual assault will not be tolerated on our campuses,” Saccomanno said.
Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.