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Public Maine University Offered ‘Pop Up’ Credit for Students who Protested Susan Collins in Washington

Senator Susan Collins (R, Maine) arrives for a nomination vote at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., December 19, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The University of Southern Maine briefly offered students an accredited “pop up course” that consisted of traveling to Washington, D.C. to protest Senator Susan Collins in an effort to dissuade her from voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Glen Cummings, the president of the university, said Wednesday the course was posted without his knowledge, and was immediately canceled when he learned of it. He added that no university money had yet been spent to organize the Wednesday night trip.

The Maine GOP disseminated an email Wednesday night from a school administrator advertising university credit for traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the protest. The email links to a form asking students if they are willing to be arrested in the course of the protest

Maine GOP spokeswoman Nina McLaughlin accused the university of partnering with an outside group to organize what she called a “liberal sham.”

Collins, a pro-choice centrist Republican, is at the center of the weeks-long controversy surrounding Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Along with Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Collins remains undecided on the confirmation vote, which is expected to take place over the weekend.

Collins’ staffers have publicized the numerous threatening messages they’ve received over the last month. The threats have thus far included death and, on one occasion, rape.

“In one case – and we are going to turn this over to the police, but unfortunately, of course, the person didn’t leave a name or number – but they actually threatened to rape one of my young female staffers,” Collins told The Wall Street Journal.

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