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: , , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

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

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • The Kenneth Williams' execution thread

    Kenneth Williams, 38, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. tonight at the Cummins Unit near Grady. If a court does not stop the execution, he will be the fourth death row prisoner to die over the last eight days in Arkansas.
  • Last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
  • Commission to hear about plans for Ten Commandments monument

    The state will move one step closer to a lawsuit on May 11, when the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission will hear the American History and Heritage Foundation's plans for a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.
  • Death watch includes a family reunion, arranged by a victim's family

    The execution of Kenneth Williams for his 1999 slaying of Cecil Boren during a prison escape remains scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, though actions in state and federal courts are anticipated in the final hours.
  • Griffen asks probe of Ark. Supreme Court and AG's office conduct

    At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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