As President Trump’s Supreme Court pick Judge Brett Kavanaugh goes through an unprecedented nomination process after being accused of sexually assaulting several women in his youth, Illinois State University students share their reactions to the hearings being held on Capitol Hill.

ISU’s College Democrats social media coordinator Trevor Nyland said he hopes Ford’s testimony can change Senate Republican minds.

“I truly hope that Ford’s testimony can sway some Republicans to put aside party and finally believe the stories we’ve heard of Brett Kavanaugh. It was horrible watching the testimony, as Republicans tried to break holes in her story and tried to discredit her honesty. Both in the hearings and the days leading up to this,” Nyland said.

“I felt so sorry for her, having to go through this ordeal, but also so incredibly inspired by her bravery,” he said.

Senior Political Science major Alyssa York said if Kavanaugh is innocent, he should seek out an F.B.I. investigation on his own accord.

“Judge Kavanaugh is not clearly answering the questions being asked of him. If he wanted this over and done with he would submit to an investigation as he claims he would do if asked. This issue is not a case for the U.S. Senate to address,” York said.

“He should take the initiative, as many senators in the committee have asked him and seek out an investigation to clear his name. If he feels that he is innocent there is no rationale as to why he has not done so on his own accord,” she said.

“If Dr. Ford is completely ready and willing to submit to any investigation to support this accusation, why won’t judge Kavanaugh do the same to refute it,” she added.

Junior history major Colleen Horne said Ford’s actions have stirred a feeling of empowerment.

“It’s kind of hard to describe what I’m feeling. I feel angry, hopeful and sad all at the same time. I don’t want to dwell on Kavanaugh though. I think there’s a general consensus that he’s an abuser and unfit for the Supreme Court. Dr. Ford, on the other hand, has been nothing but courageous and graceful. Her actions today were patriotic, which has been extremely empowering,” Horne said.

Junior physical education major Zach Carpenter said he felt it was clear that Kavanaugh should not be nominated to the court.

“After listening to Ford’s testimony and then seeing how visibly angry Kavanaugh was, it’s pretty apparent that he shouldn’t be on the Supreme court,” Carpenter said.

“The fact that several women have come out and said he’s assaulted them, let alone the unusual things Kavanaugh has said on television should disqualify him. I’m sure Trump can find someone much more qualified than Kavanaugh,” he said.

Sophomore psychology major Kelsi Hayes, who is also vice president of Feminist Led Activist Movement to Empower at ISU said Kavanaugh’s actions were disturbing.

“Hearing Kavanaugh literally sobbing has been so disturbing. These accusations clearly have merit having been brought to the judiciary committee, I don’t want to hear a grown man cry about his life being ruined when there are multiple people whose lives he has destroyed himself. Dr. Blasey Ford has risked her career, her life and her entire livelihood to bring these accusations. To sympathize with Kavanaugh is absolutely saddening,” Hayes said.

ISU’s Students Ending Rape Culture said the organization stands with Ford and her story.

“As an organization, we want survivors everywhere to know that we stand with you and that we believe you. SERC does not align itself with a political ideology, however we stand with Dr. Ford and her story. Survivors deserved to be heard, they deserve to have their stories believed, and that is never contingent on the timeline in which their experience was shared. SERC commends the bravery of Dr. Ford and survivors everywhere.”

ANDREW DOUGHERTY is a senior news reporter for The Vidette. Contact him at vidette_addough@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @addough

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