The University of Pennsylvania recently announced it would revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degree, along with that of former trustee and alumnus Stephen Wynn. Both have been accused of several instances of sexual assault that span decades.
This is the first time in a century that the Ivy League school revoked an honorary degree. A statement from the University of Pennsylvania noted the “multiple and highly credible charges” against Cosby and Wynn contributed to its decision. The statement added that revoking both the men’s degrees was “simply the right thing to do.”
The Temple News would like to — once again — call on our university to do the right thing. Temple needs to revoke Cosby’s honorary degree, formally severing all ties the university has to the comedian and former trustee.
It is embarrassing that more than three years have passed since the wave of accusations against Cosby first came out, the university has not once commented on the stories of nearly 60 women, including former Temple employee Andrea Constand, who have said Cosby sexually assaulted them.
Forget admonishing Cosby. The university hasn’t even made a general statement of support or acknowledged the bravery of the women who came forward.
And this past summer when Cosby briefly announced a town hall tour to teach young men how to avoid being accused of sexual assault, the university once again didn’t make a peep.
While institutions of higher education like Drexel University, Swarthmore College and now the University of Pennsylvania have taken a stand against Cosby by revoking his honorary degrees, Temple has sat in silence time and time again, hoping no one would notice its complicity. But The Temple News has noticed, and we know our readers have, too.
While we are sure it must be hard to take a stand against Cosby while one of his former lawyers — Patrick O’Connor — serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees, that does not excuse the university’s once again deafening silence, or likewise the shame its silence has brought on our university.