Last week, the University of Connecticut’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) in Storrs unanimously passed a statement of position calling “upon the University… to immediately revoke the honorary degree awarded to Bill Cosby in 1996.”
A statement of position does not put into effect said position, but is a show of support, as USG is charged with reflecting the views of the undergraduate student body.
Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by more than 50 women, has had criminal charges filed against him for just that in recent years and, in 2006, admitted to buying sedatives with the aim of giving them to women.
The author of the bill, Haddiyyah Ali, a fourth-semester political science and Africana studies double major, a commuter senator and a contributor to The Daily Campus, explained why she brought this piece of legislation to vote.
“I introduced it because…we wanted to encourage the university to honor their commitment to survivors of sexual assault,” Ali said. “The bill is to urge the administration to revoke that degree, as anyone who has committed such heinous crimes has no right to hold a degree of that magnitude.”
UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz has said as early as last year that, “This issue has been the topic of thoughtful discussion, although UConn has made no decision yet.”
Eight other universities have annulled Cosby’s honorary degrees, including Brown University, Marquette University, Oberlin College and Fordham University.
Cosby came to UConn in 1996 to deliver a commencement speech and was awarded an honorary degree in fine arts. His speech was well-received, and in 2012, UConn posted a video of the speech to its Facebook page with the caption “Happy 75th birthday to our friend Bill Cosby!"
Read the full story at The Daily Campus.