Graduate students at the Catholic University of America are publicly calling for the resignation of a dean from the graduate social work program for a tweet in which he cast doubt on the accusations from Julie Swetnick against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
In a tweet that has since been deleted, Dean Will Rainford of the National Catholic School of Social Service questioned the veracity of Julie Swetnick’s account that Kavanaugh was at a party where she was sexually assaulted, suggesting that because she was older, it would be bizarre for women her age to be hanging out with younger boys of Kavanaugh’s age.
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“Swetnick is 55 y/o. Kavanaugh is 52 y/o. Since when do senior girls hang with freshman boys? If it happened when Kavanaugh was a senior, Swetnick was an adult drinking with & by her admission, having sex with underage boys. In another universe, he would be the victim & she the perp!”
In response to the tweet, more than 40 students from the School of Social Service walked out of their classes last Thursday afternoon. During their protest, the students compiled a list with several demands they felt CUA should take to discipline Rainford, including his immediate resignation, hiring a female to replace him, a public apology from CUA’s president, an affirmative statement on protocol for sexual assault and harassment by CUA, and a donation to a charity for survivors of sexual assault.
Of the approximately 40 students who walked out of class to stage the protest, only 5 were male. A number of students complained that because the tweet was posted to Rainford’s official school Twitter account (@NCSSSDean), they felt his views were being presented as official university views (the whole Twitter account seems to have been deleted, as of Tuesday afternoon).
“I don’t want [Rainford] speaking for me as a social worker or as a Catholic,” said Victoria Conaway, a graduate student. “We have a lot of professional staff here that agree with us.”
Since publicly making allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last week that he and friend Mark Judge were known to “spike the punch” at parties with alcohol, Swetnick has since then partially walked back her allegations, saying she only saw Kavanuagh hanging out near the punch bowl at parties.
John Patrick (@john_pat_rick) is a graduate of Canisius College and Georgia Southern University. He interned for Red Alert Politics during the summer of 2012 and has continued to contribute regularly.