Alumni and faculty demand that St. Lawrence revoke Susan Collins' honorary degree

Lester Mason
October 17, 2018

Throughout the confirmation process, Collins and her staff faced threats, insults, and even a "suspicious letter" that had to be removed from her home by a hazmat team.

Bangor police received a report of the suspicious letter at 1:39 p.m., and teams of investigators and a hazardous materials team from Orono were soon on scene at Collins' home on West Broadway.

No one was harmed in the incident that took place on Monday and Collins' office did not comment on whether the letter sent to Tom Daffron, the senator's husband, actually contained ricin.

"Senator Collins's husband, Mr. Daffron, their dog, and parts of their home were quarantined while the crime lab undertook an analysis of the premises".

The senator's husband, Thomas Daffron, was at home, but Collins wasn't there at the time. She eventually chose to vote for him, she announced in a speech on the Senate floor.

Almost 100 faculty members have also demanded the university revoke the degree to "communicate that we find the dismantling of rape culture more important than saving face or avoiding critique that has the potential to threaten relationships with people who wield considerable power". "We ask the university to do this in support of truth and for all of the victims of sexual assault and violence, of which many of her fellow alumni and students have suffered", the letter read, in part.

It was unclear who sent the letter and why.

Collins graduated from St. Lawrence in 1975, but alumni, such as Kate Byrne of Portland, Maine say her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and her expressed doubt that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was sexually assaulted by him put her at odds with the school's commitment to supporting survivors of sexual assault.

Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI field office in Boston, which covers all of northern New England, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Sgt. Wade Betters of the Bangor Police Department referred questions to the U.S. Capitol Police, the primary investigating agency.

Police say they have no information that suggests there is any danger to the public.

Earlier in the day, Bangor police said the letter did not pose a threat to public safety. Collins spoke briefly outside her home Tuesday, saying she was letting the FBI handle the investigation and thanking first responders for their professional response, according to WGME-TV. "Today's incident is the latest in a series of threats against Senator Collins, her loved ones, and her staff".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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