Sewanee students object to Regents’ refusal to rescind Charlie Rose honorary degree


Sewanee students object to the Regents’ refusal to rescind Charlie Rose honorary degree.

From Inside Higher Ed:

…  some students anonymously put up posters all over the campus addressed to John McCardell, the vice chancellor (the equivalent of president). “VC John McCardell: Why won’t you condemn sexual assaulters?” read many of the posters, including one placed on McCardell’s campus home. The posters, which were quickly removed, stunned many on the campus, who see civility as a cherished, all too rare value in higher education today.

A rally is being planned for later this week, and there are no signs that the debate is about to die down.

Richard Pryor III, a student, published an essay Monday in The Sewanee Purple in which he challenged the theological underpinnings of the leaders’ letter.

McCardell said, Sewanee has never revoked a degree — honorary or otherwise — in its history. “We have no procedure or process for revoking a degree,” he said.

McCardell also asked whether revoking the degree would accomplish anything.

Doing so would be “to add a feather to a thousand-pound weight,” he said.

There’s more. Read it all.

Update: A letter from School of Theology students to Sewanee undergraduates is here.

We believe “we must confess and repent of those times when the church, its ministers or its members have been antagonistic or unresponsive to people—women, children and men— who have been sexually exploited or abused” (see here). We believe the church has a central role in upholding moral authority and seeking justice. We do not always get this right, and when we fail, we must confront the truth and commit to reconciling work.

The link in seminarians’ letter is to a recent letter from the President Bishop and the President of the House Deputies concerning sexual assault.

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