Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick O’Connor confirmed to The Temple News that he is interested in meeting with members of Temple’s Feminist Alliance, formerly known as the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance.
The Feminist Alliance has been critical of O’Connor for representing former trustee Bill Cosby in a 2005 civil suit against former university employee Andrea Constand, who accused Cosby of sexual assault. Judge Steven O’Neill said during a pretrial hearing that O’Connor could be called to the stand as a witness due to his past involvement with Cosby.
The student organization has been protesting the naming of O’Connor Plaza since its dedication to the Board of Trustees chairman in September 2017.
O’Connor has been mum on protests by alliance members, and when The Temple News approached him for an interview on the matter on Nov. 6, he declined. It’s always concerning when a person of power at our university refuses to speak with students.
However, The Temple News is encouraged by O’Connor’s recent interest in speaking with Feminist Alliance members about important issues like sexual assault and his connection to Cosby.
We’re glad O’Connor is finally responding to the unease of an organization of concerned students at our university.
We will surely be watching and waiting to see if the proposed meeting comes to fruition, as no meeting date has yet been set. But O’Connor’s willingness to even consider a conversation must be viewed as progress.
The Temple News is also thankful for the administrators who have met with Feminist Alliance members and heard them out long before O’Connor even considered doing so.
We hope this willingness to communicate continues, so students’ concerns can be heard.