By Evelin Rivera-Cabral, Ryan Haller, Israel Larson, Staff Writers
This week, PPCC students at all three campuses shared their positions about the recent controversy surrounding sexual allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Many students are undecided about whether Ford or Kavanaugh are telling the truth, but most shared concerns that the Senate is proceeding with Kavanaugh’s nomination as a political stunt to further the ends of both major political parties, rather than as an opportunity to address sexual misconduct of people in power in this era of #MeToo.
What is clear is that Kavenaugh’s nomination hearing is dividing the student body at PPCC, just as it is the nation.
Rampart student Ryan Smith said, “Both Ford and Kavanaugh were treated really unfairly. There was no intention to protect Dr. Ford by the Democrats and there was no intention to protect Kavanaugh by the Republicans.”
“Republicans were upset with good reason that the whole situation should have been brought up earlier. I think the biggest issue is the Democrats calling it a job interview when it’s dealing with such a big problem. If Kavanaugh is innocent, but doesn’t get the position, then his image is smeared, and his family is forced to live with that forever. But if he’s guilty and gets the position, we just allowed a sexual predator into a high-ranking position. There’s no winning,” Smith said.
“I honestly feel that if anybody gets accused of that, no matter what, they should not be able to be in office,” said PPCC student, Christopher Potter, at Rampart. “But, we need to investigate to see if this really happened, and if it didn’t, Dr. Ford should be held accountable for her actions,” Potter said.
Rampart student Annie Anderson said, “I believe women. I don’t know what to think.” She admitted her confusion, saying that she assumed Kavanaugh was guilty until she heard his side, then she became skeptical. Still, Anderson said she doesn’t believe America should risk letting a sexual predator onto the Supreme Court.
Nancy Reeves, also at Rampart, said it isn’t “fair to have an opinion without facts. ” “If he did it, then please prove it. That’s all,” she said. She believes that the nomination hearing is not being handled fairly.
At the Centennial Campus, the common response from students was that the politicians on both sides are exploiting Ford and Kavanaugh for political purposes. Opinions strode somewhat on the fence, with most students saying they needed more evidence before a decision was made in either direction.
Some students felt skeptical of Ford and didn’t want to condemn Kavanaugh of committing a crime, but if he committed the acts as she charges them, they also don’t want a person who has committed sexual assault on the Supreme Court.
Student Kit Waggoner says, “I think the response that a lot of conservatives are having to him still being considered, to liberals and moderates saying ‘no, no, no we should not consider this guy’ is horrifying, it’s very unprogressive and very anti-women.”
“I do believe Dr. Ford’s story, especially during a time where more women are coming out with their stories. If our president can say “grab her by the pussy” and get away with it, why wouldn’t I believe that this lower official didn’t sexually assault her?” Said PPCC student, Micha Dixon.
Centennial student Alyssa Townsend said it was important for people in power to undergo redemption after being accused of controversial allegations. She believes Ford’s story and would want Kavanaugh to come forward and admit to the allegations made against him.
Downtown students also voiced their support of Ford.
Student Valerie Herbert said, “Why would she come and put herself in this position and slander her name and slander her practice and be one of the most hated women in America currently… for weeks of torture?”
“On the one hand, you want to believe her because if it did happen it will ruin her life, but on the other hand, you’re scared you’re going to ruin someone else’s life. So you have to wait until evidence comes and you feel bad for not choosing a side,” said student Kat Dumas.
Many students believe that regardless of whether or not the allegations against Kavanaugh are true, his response to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week portrayed someone who was unfit to be a lifetime member of the Supreme Court.
Student Austin Pettigrew said, “Should the investigation yield something, and he still gets confirmed, it would be a huge disgrace. One for the crime itself and one for the blatant lies to federal investigators. Especially for someone who is making major legal decisions for our country.”
Shashana Snowbird, a student at the DTSC, said she thinks it’s really sad that because Ford wasn’t actually raped, her assault isn’t counted as serious. “The wound is opening for victims of #MeToo and sexual violence,” she said.
Non-traditional student, Bill Harper said, “I think if you go back [far enough] in anybody’s life… you’ll probably find some things we’re not too proud of. I think people are just digging for a reason not put him on the Supreme Court.”
He went on to say, “Do I think something happened to Dr. Ford? Absolutely. But, there were two letters sent to Senator Grassley by two men that state that they were the ones that actually did it to her and the FBI hasn’t investigated those.”
Harper summed up, “What does it say for the future when other people are nominated? Are you going to start eliminating good people from serving in public office? It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, I don’t care whether they’re Republican or Democrat, I just want them to uphold the standards of the Constitution, period.”
The Senate received the FBI report on Kavanaugh late Wednesday evening, October 3, and will vote to nominate him to the Supreme Court on Friday morning, according to Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. The Senate expects nearly thirty hours of debate prior to the final confirmation vote.
For more information, or to watch Ford’s Senate hearing and Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing, visit C-Span for full-length live video at https://www.c-span.org