ROCHESTER, N.Y. — More than 400 alumni from St. John Fisher College in Rochester have signed onto a petition calling for the school to rescind former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's honorary degree.
Organizers sent a version of the petition to the college president on January 11 and an update a week later.
"I think that staying quiet speaks volumes on the character of the college," Erin Turpin, 2018-2019 student government president, said.
Turpin doesn't believe Giuliani's actions as the personal attorney for Donald Trump have represented well the honorary degree Fisher gave him when he spoke there in 2015.
"They teach us goodness, discipline, and knowledge and I feel like, what about what he has said regarding the most recent election, about our Democracy, about the worldwide pandemic, what about all those things alludes goodness or alludes discipline or knowledge," she said.
The petition cites reports claiming Giuliani falsely claimed evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election, helped incite Trump supporters before the January 6 riots at the Capitol, and ignored health guidelines to reduce coronavirus spread when he had symptoms. Turpin said she, like other former student government leaders, felt a duty to speak out.
"We're still invested in the college and the reputation of the college and the things that they do and we were just kind of all in support and just wanted to sign onto that," she said.
More than a month later, Turpin said the college has yet to take up the issue. Friday, the same group delivered a letter to the board of trustees again making their case.
"I think it's a really simple decision," she said. "Like, you have a conversation and then you decide, 'Do we rescind it or do we not?' And I think it's taken far too long."
In a statement, the Board of Trustees acknowledged the push from some members of the community and said it has agreed to meet and take the matter under consideration. Although the next scheduled meeting is in March, the board did not provide a timeline.
It said it will share more information as it becomes available.