Sullivan’s duty to the community

Letter to the Editor

Dear President Sullivan,

I hope that you can see fit to address the University as to where we stand as a community concerning the current state of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.

There is a palpable sense of hurt and foreboding among our female students and faculty at UVM that our nation is regressing back to the old Victorian standards of patriarchal supremacy over women in all things, that women do not hold the same intellectual capacity and moral fiber and are not equal to the character or standing of men in any way.

My wife, Wendy, who is a professional social worker and advocate for the rights of the elderly here in Vermont, is not only unsettled by the proceedings of this nomination process but, to a high degree, feels her very essence and morality under attack. It is very hard for me to see her come home from work in this state — coming home after listening to VPR and BBC coverage of the proceedings. Wendy will be celebrating her 60th birthday Oct. 15.

It appears now that our president is saying to the nation that it is okay to mock and degrade others in public — especially women, who apparently to him, hold no value if they do not serve his immediate definition or purpose.

I am writing all this to you because I have always believed in what you have said and stood for. I know that you can say something to assuage this prevalent fear on campus. You can tell our young women and men that we stand by human equality in all things.

Every individual, male or female, black or white, and regardless of religion or philosophy, has the right to speak up in America. This right of social and gender equality under the law is what we stand for as a nation and should be the most important of our exports to the world.

Please accept my words, President Sullivan, as a form of gratitude for your understanding, openness and exemplary visionary leadership for our university.

As one of the largest and most visible communities in Vermont, we must stand up and say something. I know that UVM can make global change. I see this happening with our students and alumni every day.

Yours truly, with respect

and admiration,

Jacques-Paul Marton “JP.”

Custodian, Dudley H. Davis

Center, UVM