St. Lawrence alumni, faculty want honorary degree for Collins revoked
© Stefani Reynolds

Hundreds of alumni and faculty at St. Lawrence University are calling for it to revoke an honorary degree awarded to Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails Senators introduce bill to respond to Khashoggi killing MORE (R-Maine) because of her support for Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughThe future of abortion politics is changing Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship MORE's Supreme Court confirmation.

CBS News reported on Tuesday that over 1,800 alumni and dozens of faculty at the university are sending letters to university officials demanding the Maine Republican’s honorary 2017 degree be revoked.

Collins graduated from the northern New York university in 1975 and has since received two honorary degrees from the school: an honorary doctorate of law in 1998 and an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters in 2017.

Collins received her most recent honorary degree from the university after she broke with her party’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

In a letter signed by over 1,300 alumni, the former students said the Republican senator’s support for Kavanaugh "is not in line with the core values" of the university and added that her support for the judge showed a "lack [of] the integrity and commitment to justice that we expect from the St. Lawrence body."

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They also called on the university to take back Collins’s degree "in support of truth and for all of the victims of sexual assault and violence, of which many of her fellow alumni and students have suffered."

Dozens of faculty members also said in a separate message that revoking the Republican’s honorary degree would help "dismantle rape culture" — what they define as "attitudes and behavior that normalize and condone sexual assault." 

"While our campus has come a long way in the years since Senator Collins was a student here to educate the campus population about sexual assault and harassment, and to adjudicate it fairly when it happens, we still have much hard work before us in and outside of the classroom," the faculty stated.

University spokesman Ryan Deuel said in a statement to CBS News that St. Lawrence University does not take political positions and that the school has “never rescinded any earned or honorary degree, and it has no intention of doing so in this situation.”

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court earlier this month in a 50-48 vote after his nomination was nearly torpedoed by allegations of sexual misconduct and rape. 

Christine Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a high school party the two attended in the early 1980s. 

The FBI conducted a new investigation of the charges, but Kavanaugh was confirmed a week after Ford's testimony.

Collins's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.