Supreme Court to Penn State

After the hearing and a reopened investigation, Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed as Supreme Court nominee as of Oct. 6, 2018. While this has obvious political and social impacts on the state of the country, VALLEY asked Penn State students what this confirmation means to them and how it’s relevant to culture in our blue and white bubble.

Before the confirmation, VALLEY got the perspective of two female students.

Julia Littman, Penn State junior, says, “College is the time for a lot of people when you start to form your own opinions and become your own person, so when everyone’s watching, it’s history in the making.”

Kaela Rothstein, a Penn State junior, says, “We live in a rape culture. Either way sexual assault and sexual harassment are so prevalent in our lives even if it doesn’t only happen at a frat party. It’s scary to think some people our age are okay with this. It’s not just the older generation.”

It seems as though the overwhelming sentiment among students is that there are social implications to Penn State culture, and the shaping of the future leaders of our generation, when America doesn’t hold people accountable for their actions. Whether you believe Dr. Ford, Brett Kavanaugh or think this hearing is irrelevant to Kavanaugh’s qualifications to be on the Supreme Court, Penn State students are quick to realize the controversial characters of our government and that the decisions that they make set examples for them and their peers. Many feel as though the work and achievements made to speak out against sexual assault or pioneer newer, safer and more equal spaces for women has been undone.

On the other hand, students feel as though moral character and actions that take place outside of a political career shouldn’t have bearing on one’s ability to be successful, and this case proves that point. However, there are thousands of perspectives, and this one might make you cringe.

The Catholic Moms hashtag, #momsforkavanaugh, released a video with the ideology that their sons are susceptible to the same scrutiny as Kavanaugh because of their gender, and that they must be protected.

VALLEY caught up with Steven Schneible for a Catholic, male perspective. Schneible says, “I think we’re looking at a flagrant example of politicians ignoring constituents’ desires, not to mention institutional misogyny; that being said, I don’t think unmitigated panic is a good idea. We need to believe that our institutions are durable enough to withstand partisan pendulum swings.” 

On the flip side of this, VALLEY followed up with Kaela Rothstein for her feelings after the confirmation. She says, “I’m scared and disappointed in our country. I think it’s the worst message the country could send to everyone. Not just the women or the men, but everyone.”

As for culture at Penn State, this is not the first time and will definitely not be the last time that students really stop to think, and realize the example that is being set for our generation and our country. We are shaped every day by what goes on around us, excluding political ideology and social issues. We are influenced by memes, videos, fashion, trends and numerous outlets of media. As students, constantly in a state of learning and expanding our knowledge of ourselves and the world around us, it is how we choose to look at the losses and the victories, and how we can understand them enough to make a difference in ourselves and our futures.


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