Texas A&M student president kills senate-passed bill to allow students to opt-out of funding LGBTQ center

Campus Reform Reporter
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Conservative students at Texas A&M University suffered a setback on Thursday after the student body president vetoed a measure that would’ve given students the ability to keep their funds from funding a new LGBTQ center.

The Texas A&M student body president vetoed legislation that would have given students the option of keeping their fees from funding a new LTBTQ center.

In a letter obtained by Campus Reform, John Claybrook, the student body president, explained his veto was designed to save the school from “great harm to our reputation as a student body and to the students feeling disenfranchised by this bill.”

The Senate-approved proposal that passed on Wednesday would have given students the ability to prevent their student fees going to the school’s LBGTQ Center if they had religious or moral objections.

Eric Schroeder, an A&M student and president of the Aggie Conservative club, said he strongly supported the proposal and was disappointed that the president vetoed it.

“It would’ve been a great step in the right direction in that would’ve let students have a more of a say in where their own money, not the university’s money, would be going towards,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder also suggested the proposal may have been killed in order to placate the school’s administration who clearly opposed the legislation.

A&M’s President, R. Bowen Loftin, for example, sent a statement to Campus Reform on Friday arguing that even the discourse surrounding the bill had “negatively affected” the school’s image and hurt the school’s value of respect.

Justin Pulliam, an alumnus of Texas A&M and a former president of the Aggie Conservatives, also argued the issue is about fairness and giving students a say in how their money is spent.

“Students being forced to pay for morally objectionable programs, especially those not directly related to the educational mission of the university, should not be a requirement of seeking higher education,” Pulliam said.

However, not all students shared that sentiment.

Hunter Hoyle, a student senator told a local radio station after the bill passed that many A&M students see the student senate as intolerant for approving it.

“Right now the Texas A&M student body perceives the Senate as self serving and hateful, and against diversity,” he said.

He also claimed that several students cried after the Student Senate passed the bill.

In recent years the LGBTQ center has stirred controversy. In 2011, the center hosted an event called “Butt Play that presented graphic images of gay sex.

In the Texas State House, Rep. Mark Zedler (R-Arlington) proposed a similar amendment to an appropriations bill this week that would’ve cut funding all together to LGBT Centers at state schools.

According to the amendment, funding to these centers would be slashed for allegedly supporting “behavior that would lead to high risk behavior for AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B, or any sexually transmitted disease.”

The Republican lawmaker withdrew the bill yesterday citing concerns voiced to him by his constituents.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ScottMGreer

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