Pressure is growing from advocates around the country for Temple University to finally cut all ties with Bill Cosby after an arrest warrant was issued against the comedian in connection with a sexual assault against a former Temple employee.
Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet said in a statement, “The issuing of this warrant is a step closer to getting justice for sexual assault survivors. Whether the accused is a high profile celebrity or a star athlete, we can no longer allow sexual assault to be swept under the rug. However, Bill Cosby still holds an honorary degree from Temple University –the same university where he is being charged for drugging and fondling a former employee. And Patrick O’Connor, who previously served as Cosby’s lawyer defending him against rape allegations, continues to serve as Chairman of Temple University’s Board of Trustees. Despite a clear conflict of interest, the university continues to have a relationship with both Cosby and O’Connor. This is outrageous. Instead of continuing to support an accused abuser, Temple should stop ignoring sexual assault by cutting all ties with Cosby and revoke his degree.”
Cosby’s power and fame allowed him to get away with rape and sexual assault for decades. The fact that Temple University turned a blind eye to the sexual assault of one of their own employees can’t be overlooked.
It isn’t just the predator who needs to accountable for these crimes. The institutions and individuals who created a culture of secrecy and enablement must also be held accountable. It is telling that Temple didn’t throw Cosby off of the Board of Trustees when the allegations surfaced. The university allowed him to resign.
At the time, Temple thanked Cosby for his service to the university, “The Board of Trustees accepts Dr. Cosby’s resignation from the board and thanks him for his service to the university.”
Cosby should have never been thanked. Temple should never have aided Cosby in burying the original sexual assault allegation. Temple University placed money and image ahead of the safety of women.
The focus is rightly on Bill Cosby today, but it is important not to forget those institutions and individuals who spent decades enabling a sexual predator.