Student government pushes anti-Kavanaugh resolution

The Student Government Association at the University of Wisconsin- Steven's Point passed a resolution that outright condemns the “interrogat[ion]” of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against then-Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as Supreme Court justice on Saturday, was “credibly accused by three separate women of sexual assault,” according to the UWSP Student Government Association Sept. 27 letter, which Campus Reform obtained. In the letter, the group defines credible accusations as those that offer witnesses, testimonials, and evidence.

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The school's SGA released a separate statement on Wednesday, in which it attempted to clarify the purpose of the initial statement. 

"This letter acknowledges the national rhetoric surrounding sexual assault and tells students that the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Student Government Association does not support the rhetoric. On our campus, we believe and support survivors," the latest statement reads. 

It goes on to state that the initial letter "was not intended to make a judgment on the outcome of Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation, but rather to acknowledge that the U.S. Senate's treatment of sexual assault was harmful...UW-Stevens Point Student Government Association stands with survivors." 

“The contempt shown by these United States Senators are [sic] simply abhorrent,” the SGA's initial letter, which it released ahead of the Kavanaugh confirmation vote, reads. “This inexcusable refusal to fully investigate these claims attempts to set an appalling precedent: credible accusations of sexual assault can be dismissed if inconvenient to those in power.” 

The FBI eventually conducted a week-long investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh. The law enforcement agency's probe turned up no further evidence, according to senators who read the FBI's report. 

The SGA goes on, stating in its original letter that to ensure the SGA is not “complicit in disbelief of survivors...they must set a precedent that these actions cannot and will not be tolerated.”  

The College Republicans at UWSP released a press release on Sunday, responding to the resolution that the student government president and senate speaker signed and that the group passed. 

“This action taken by the [SGA] is acutely partisan in an effort to support one political agenda, even though this organization is to be non-partisan and represent the entire student body,” the group said. 

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“This letter is extremely partisan and ignores the constitutional right of due process provided all people in this country, no matter what societal position,” UWSP College Republicans chairwoman Amelia Heup said. “I urge SGA to withdraw this letter for its partisan bias and allow students to be involved in this process.”

“SGA’s bias against Republicans is a travesty and is a perfect example of the dangerous and polarizing sentiment of liberals on college campuses,” UWSP student and College Republicans member Joey Cannizzaro told Campus Reform. “Our club has had posters torn down and members have been harassed on social media. This statement from SGA is yet another blatant example of their disregard for the voice[s] of conservative students.”

“They should have asked the opinion of the student body before they made such a bullish and politically charged announcement,” Cannizzaro added. 

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Another student, Justice Groothousen, also decried the SGA’s decision to pass the letter “without informing the students first.”

“Not all students feel the same way as they do about Kavanaugh,” Groothousen told Campus Reform.

UWSP student Travis Gotchie said that the SGA was supposed to be the “epitome of non-partisanship,” claiming that conservative opinions were “silenced” in the organization, “which, in turn, is not representative of the students on campus.”

“These actions by is not representing the student body because it was not brought forth in a partisan measure, it was brought forth with a political agenda in mind,” Heup told Campus Reform. “It is truly disappointing.”

The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and the SGA did not respond to requests for comment. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Zach_Petrizzo