Update (1:35 p.m.): Counter-protesters began holding signs saying “F**k Kavanaugh” and began chanting “We believe survivors,” at the YCT.
Public relations junior Elizabeth Boone, one of the people who protested YCT, said the signs are indicative of wider problems at UT.
“It is despicable and wrong for people to be here trying to uplift a man who is clearly a perpetrator of assault,” Boone said. “It just really shows that even on a campus like this there are people who truly do not care about women, and they don’t care about people who have been assaulted.”
Sara Kennedy, UT director of strategic and executive communications, said the University supports expressions of free speech by safe means.
“All of our students have a right to free expression and the University takes that right very seriously," Kennedy said. "Our main concern is about safety and that students have the right to express themselves."
Architecture graduate student Yasser El Masri said he agreed with the signs to some extent.
“I don’t agree with confirming Kavanaugh right now, but let the investigation come out,” El Masri said. “If there’s any evidence against that guy throw him in jail. I don’t care, but you need hard evidence. I don’t at any point doubt the integrity of her testimony, but this is the law. It doesn’t matter what you believe it’s what you can prove.”
Original post: Holding signs saying “Kavanaugh did nothing wrong” and “Confirm Kavanaugh,” UT’s Young Conservatives of Texas chapter took to the West Mall on Tuesday morning in support of the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Within minutes, a large crowd of 50 to 70 onlookers and counter-protesters gathered. After a few hours, a couple of protestors ripped some of the signs.
“We’re in support of Judge Kavanaugh because we believe that not enough evidence has been made to credibly accuse him and render him ineligible for the Supreme Court seat,” YCT Chairman Saurabh Sharma said. “We believe that he should be confirmed speedily,. This confirmation hearing has turned into a farce and is a process that has been leveraged by Democrats in order to deny constitutionalists a place on the court.”
As the crowd grew, YCT relocated to the western steps of the Tower. Susan Buckenmeyer, director of student activities, said students who are not involved in YCT are not allowed to stand on the steps.
Judge Kavanaugh testified in front of Congress last week after being accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University.
Two others, Julie Swetnick, who attended the same party as Kavanaugh while he was attending Georgetown Preparatory School, and Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale with Kavanaugh, have both accused of him of sexual misconduct.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which was supposed to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation Friday, chose to instead postpone the vote and initiate an FBI investigation into Ford’s allegations. The investigation was given a deadline of Oct. 5. The FBI is currently in the process of interviewing witnesses for the investigation, according to the New York Times.
“I’m walking over here and I see these inflammatory signs supporting Kava,” said Orlie Hernandez, an international relations senior. “They say ‘Justice for Kava,’ but what about justice for Dr. Ford? What about justice for all the victims that have gone through sexual assault that don’t have the voice to stand up to power? What about justice for them?”