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Students protest visiting Professor Brett Kavanaugh as threat to ‘mental health’

FAIRFAX, Va. — Some students at George Mason University continue to put pressure on campus leaders to fire U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh from his new post as a visiting law professor.

Kavanaugh was hired in January by GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School and is set to co-teach a class this summer called “Creation of the Constitution” in Runnymede, England, where the Magna Carta was sealed.

Despite the fact that Kavanaugh is teaching over 3,500 miles away from the Virginia campus, several students took to the podium at the Board of Visitors meeting last Wednesday to say they feel unsafe having Kavanaugh teach the class.

Exclusive video recorded by The College Fix shows several students, a few who say they are sexual assault survivors, address the campus leaders to tell them students’ mental health is threatened by the Kavanaugh hire.

“As a survivor of sexual assault this decision has really impacted me negatively,” one female student said. “It is affecting my mental health knowing that an abuser will be part of our faculty.”

Another female student gave similar comments to the board: “As someone who has survived sexual assault three times I do not feel comfortable with someone who has sexual assault allegations like walking on campus.”

A third female student told the board “we are fighting to eradicate sexual violence on this campus. But the hiring of Kavanaugh threatens the mental well being of all survivors on this campus.”

A fourth female student echoed similar sentiments, noting her sister is a sexual assault victim.

“I’ve seen what it does to a person,” she said. “I’ve seen what these cases can do to people.”

The comments were made during the meeting’s public comment section. The students represent a relatively new group on campus called “Mason 4 Survivors,” launched in recent months.

A student petition created by “Mason 4 Survivors” demands that the university “terminate AND void ALL contracts and affiliation with Brett Kavanaugh at George Mason University.” So far nearly 3,300 have signed it.

After the students spoke, Rector Tom Davis and GMU President Angel Cabrera said they were proud of the students and appreciated that they spoke up and acted as engaged citizens.

Later in the meeting, Cabrera suggested steps to continue to eradicate sexual assault on the campus, stating “one case of sexual assault is one too many.” The board agreed to learn more about sexual assault on campus and steps underway to combat the problem.

The next day, students continued their protest by marching around campus chanting “cancel Kavanaugh” and “take Kavanaugh off campus.” Some had blue tape over their mouths. The group delivered their petition to fire the Supreme Court justice to Merten Hall, an administration building.

The demonstrators also defaced a statue of George Mason, putting blue tape on his mouth and attaching anti-Kavanaugh signs to it, using it as a prop in their protest.


University spokesman Michael Sandler told The College Fix “we allow students to dress up the statue, so this doesn’t violate any policies that I’m aware of.” He said the university “strongly supports freedom of expression and this would seem to fall into that category.”

As to Kavanaugh’s fate at George Mason University, some members of the Faculty Senate may believe they have the right to investigate Kavanaugh independently despite the U.S. Senate’s determination. They called for as much at their meeting last Wednesday.

But President Cabrera has stated that Justice Kavanaugh’s appointment was approved by the law school faculty in January and he stands behind that decision.

MORE: GMU faculty want new probe of Kavanaugh: ‘there has not been a full investigation’

IMAGE: Twitter screenshot

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About the Author
Zachary Petrizzo -- George Mason University