Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Students Push Syracuse to Revoke Giuliani Honorary Degree


Student organizations are calling for Syracuse University (SU) to rescind Rudy Giuliani’s honorary doctorate from the SU College of Law.

Giuliani, who served as former President Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, has been mired in several controversies since Trump’s defeat in November last year. He was also accused of instigating violence in the January Capitol Hill attack for urging rioters to engage in “trial by combat.”

According to school newspaper, The Daily Orange, the former attorney’s chequered history has provoked undergraduates and law students from the Student Association (SA) and Student Bar Association (SBA) to push the college to cancel the 1989 honor bestowed on him by the school.

“When he received his honorary degree back in 1989, he might have portrayed the values or initiatives of the school then. I don’t think there’s any room for that now,” SBA executive president Mazzy Kalia said.

Kaila is spearheading the movement to revoke Giuliani’s honorary degree and is working with students from SA and SBA to press administrators to accede to their demands. 

Charges Against Giuliani

Giuliani first faced a backlash at SU when he was invited to be the commencement speaker in 2002. The then-mayor of New York City faced flak for his policing practices following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

More recently, Giuliani was criticized for working with former-President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election — prompting an appellate court to suspend his law license. 

Drexel University and Middlebury College have already rescinded Giuliani’s degrees. Middlebury President Laurie Patton wrote on Facebook that Giuliani’s role in “fomenting” the Capitol Hill riots was “an insurrection against democracy itself.”

Students at Syracuse are now hoping that their university will join the other two in revoking the attorney’s degree. 

“He has been suspended for his law license, and undermined our elections, and has advocated for really, really absurd things,” SA President David Bruen, said. “He still has an honorary degree from this university. And I think the longer that lasts, the more it kind of devalues an honorary degree from the College of Law.”

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