Students Walk Out Amid Kavanaugh Senate Hearing



St. John’s students, led by Kennisa Ragland, showed support to Dr. Christine Ford.

Spencer Clinton, Photo Editor

Eight students stood in the rain to protest Friday morning in the wake of Supreme Court-nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious Senate hearing a day earlier in which he defended himself against sexual assault allegations.

The student walkout, which took place in front of St. Augustine Hall, was organized by senior Kennisa Ragland and was one of two that took place on campus that day.

At the Senate hearing, psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in college 36 years ago. Kavanaugh forcefully denied her claims at the hearing.

After listening to Kavanaugh’s repeated dismissals of Ford’s accusations under questioning from the various senators, Ragland said she decided to organize an on-campus walkout to stand in unity with women and sexual assault survivors everywhere.

“I believe the act of lying about sexual harassment and or violence is horrible,” Ragland said. “But, people overwhelmingly don’t lie about this. And they don’t forget it, as much as they might want to.”

Ragland organized the walkout via Instagram, announcing that they would listen to the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Friday and follow with a moment of silence.

Ragland wasn’t discouraged by the small turnout.

“Even though there weren’t that many people I know, there were a lot of people here in spirit,” she said. “I know a lot of people wanted to be here. It was an early morning, it was last minute, and the vote came so quick after the hearing.”

Ragland also read a prepared statement to the other seven students who joined her. She said placing Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court following these accusations “would be another mistake.”

“And it would be a bad one because people are more aware today, and that’s the whole thing about that [awareness]; you lose trust when people know what’s happening in their government.”