Thursday, March 16, 2017

Legislative attack on sex at Arkansas Tech raises accreditation question

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 7:55 AM

click to enlarge SEX ON THE LAWN: This campus display of information related to human sexuality at Arkansas Tech has prompted a budget-slashing effort by Arkansas legislators. But a run at the cut that had been scheduled today apparently has been delayed - FACEBOOK/SPECTRUM AT ARKANSAS TECH
  • Facebook/Spectrum at Arkansas Tech
  • SEX ON THE LAWN: This campus display of information related to human sexuality at Arkansas Tech has prompted a budget-slashing effort by Arkansas legislators. But a run at the cut that had been scheduled today apparently has been delayed

The special language subcommittee of the legislature's Joint Budget Committee had been expected to take up a proposal this morning from several legislators to strip funding from a department at Arkansas Tech that works with diversity issues because of unhappiness about Sex on the Lawn, an annual sex education event by Spectrum, a student group that listed the diversity and inclusion department as a sponsor.

It appears the matter has  delayed to a meeting next week, sowing confusion among Tech students and others who'd planned to be on hand at 8 a.m. this morning to protest legislative incursion into academic freedom. But trickiness could be afoot. The matter might come up in the regular Joint Budget meeting, a legislative staffer said. About three dozen Tech students are on hand this morning to be heard if the matter does come up.

Reps. Trevor Drown and Mary Bentley are leaders of the effort to strip funding from the Department of Diversity and Inclusion. They weren't happy that sex toys were displayed at the informational event. It seems likely the outreach to LGBT students also contributed to their unhappiness. The Department of Diversity and Inclusion provided no money in support of the annual event, consisting of students with tabletop displays and pamphlets in a public area.

Dr. Robin Bowen, Tech president, has defended the work of the department, whose outreach includes disabled students, minorities and others. She has said further in recent days that legislative interference with academic efforts could cost the university its national accreditation.

The amendment to strip funding doesn't appear on the committee agenda this morning. The Courier reported that another amendment, of unspecified reach, had appeared for a time on the agenda, sponsored by Sen. Greg Standridge of Russellville. But it no longer appears.

"That was just something prepared if we decided to go a different direction, and I told them do not run that, I just told them to hang on to it," Standridge said.

"It was not OK-d by me to release in joint budget so I'm going to have to find out what's going on," Standridge said.

What's going on is clear. Sex-obsessed legislators are trying to bully a university into accepting their view of what is acceptable to be discussed by adult students on the campus of an institution of higher learning. They also have a deep animus toward the already marginalized, which is exactly why you need a Department of Diversity and Inclusion in the first place.

Drown and Bentley claim "constituents" are in an uproar about Sex on the Lawn. KTHV reported on the dispute last night and found someone closer to home with a different view.
Russellville Mayor, Randal Horton, said he hasn't received one complaint, “at this moment I've had not one negative email or phone call.”

He said he feels Arkansas Tech shouldn't be singled out like this, “if this is such a good idea let's apply it to every University.”
click to enlarge AT CAPITOL: Tech students on hand for hearing. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • BRIAN CHILSON
  • AT CAPITOL: Tech students on hand for hearing.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Friday's open line

    The daily video and an open line.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • White flag waved on Trumpcare

    House Republicans pulled down the Trumpcare legislation this afternoon and walked out, depriving Democrats of some fun in pointing out all the anti-woman, anti-poor, pro-rich aspects of a bill too generous for hardcare Republicans and too mean for the few remaining moderates.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • Jones Bar-B-Q of Marianna has a related outpost in Jacksonville

    The legendary Jones Bar-B-Q Diner of Marianna is about to have a kissing cousin — supposedly with the same key recipes — in Jacksonville.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation