With the country riveted by Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s tumultuous Supreme Court nomination process, nowhere have the sexual assault allegations against him seemed more tangible than at his alma mater, Yale University.
Kavanaugh, who holds both undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University, is accused by a female classmate of sexual misconduct when the two were freshman in 1983. On Monday, law students and professors made their dissatisfaction clear with a sit-in, wearing black and filling the halls in protest of his nomination. Others traveled to Washington to protest on Capitol Hill.
On Tuesday, #StopKavanaugh posters hung from the stone pillars of the school. And Tuesday afternoon, students gathered for a meeting to discuss a law school investigation of a separate Kavanaugh matter: an accusation that faculty had told female students to dress like models when applying to clerk for the judge. Among undergraduates, the Kavanaugh controversy has sparked anxious conversations about sexual misconduct in the 1980s — and today. Students said it is eerie to know the dorm where the alleged incident took place, and they said they do not want the reputation of their school tarnished by his conduct.
“We want to make sure we have graduates that we can be proud of,” said Matt Nguyen, a third-year law student.
Yale is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the country, founded in 1701. It counts among its alumni numerous presidents, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Three Supreme Court justices hold Yale degrees: Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas. On Tuesday, as cold rain fell and students ducked between the school’s Gothic buildings on their way to class. They know well Lawrence Hall, the dormitory where the incident with Ramirez is alleged to have occurred. The storm over Kavanaugh, they said, has led to discussions among their friends about how sexual harassment and assault are still problems on campus.