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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Items from Lt. Col. David Michael Booth, Class of 1964, on display at the Muster Reflections Display in the Memorial Student Center on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Muster Reflections Display held ahead of ceremony
Hilani Quinones, Assistant News Editor • April 18, 2024

Until April 21, visitors can view personal memorabilia from fallen Aggies who will be honored at the 2024 Muster Ceremony. The Aggie Muster...

Julia Cottrill (42) celebrating a double during Texas A&Ms game against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Muffled the Mean Green
Shanielle Veazie, Sports Writer • April 17, 2024

Early pitching woes gave Texas A&M softball all the momentum needed to defeat the University of North Texas, 11-1, in a matchup on Wednesday,...

The Highway 6 Band performs while listeners slow dance at The Corner Bar and Rooftop Grill on Sunday, March 24, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
'Life is a Highway' (6 Band)
Amy Leigh Steward, Assistant Life & Arts Editor • April 17, 2024

It starts with a guitar riff. Justin Faldyn plays lead, pulling rock and blues out of the strings.  After a beat, comes the beat of the drums,...

Think your music taste somehow makes you different? Opinion writer Isabella Garcia says being unique is an illusion. (Photo by Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Opinion: The myth of uniqueness
Isabella Garcia, Opinion Writer • April 16, 2024

You’re basic. It’s thought that the term “basic bitch” originated from a 2009 video of Lil Duval standing on a toilet in front of...

Gay tolerance brings controversy to faculty

A bitter controversy that erupted last month in the College of Education regarding a proposed tolerance statement for homosexuals has prompted faculty members to accuse each other of bigotry, and some to question whether Dean Jane Conoley is imposing her political views on the college.
The college’s faculty advisory committee will meet today to vote on a final draft of a diversity statement it first proposed Feb. 4. Eight professors, including Stephen Crouse, associate dean of the college, signed a letter objecting to the statement, which says faculty must “celebrate and promote all forms of human diversity” and lists sexual orientation as a protected status, along with race, gender and other categories. The letter suggests the committee adopt a general non-discrimination statement similar to that of the University, and said Christian faculty should not have to “celebrate and promote” a lifestyle they believe is immoral.
At least one faculty member accused the signatories of the letter of bigotry and urged Conoley to fire Crouse from his administrative position. Conoley refused to fire Crouse, and in a Feb. 26 memo sent to the college’s faculty and staff, rebuked the arguments Crouse and others set forth in their letter.
“I generally consider distinctions that call us to love the sinner while hating the sin to be empty, rhetorical gestures at best and covers for persecution at worst,” Conoley stated in the memo, adding that those who signed the letter objecting to the tolerance statement were acting upon a mistranslation of a Biblical verse.
Conoley also instituted a new policy that states the college “celebrates and cherishes GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered) people.” The statement, which is enforced as the college’s policy and is separate from the faculty committee’s statement, grants homosexuals on the faculty “special access to protection and support” and states that any decision about promotion and tenure involving homosexuals deserve “heightened scrutiny.”
In an interview, Coneley, one of two finalists for provost and executive vice president – the second highest position at the University – said she found Crouse’s letter “rather pompous and arrogant” and instituted the new tolerance policy because homosexuals are a vulnerable minority.
“Sacred texts should be used to guide our personal lives and not used in judgement of others,” Coneley said.
Coneley’s memo sparked accusations that her comments were intolerant towards certain religious views and that she had disregarded faculty input by instituting the new tolerance policy.
“Some of the language in your e-mail is unnecessarily demeaning to those who hold a viewpoint somewhat different from yours,” wrote education professor David Erlandson in an e-mail to Coneley.
In an interview, Erlandson said he could not abide by Coneley’s policy of celebrating and cherishing the homosexual lifestyle.
“I can’t promote that lifestyle because of my faith, and if I’m not in compliance, I’ll accept the consequences,” Erlandson said.
Carl Gabbard, a kinesiology professor and a signatory of the letter, said Coneley’s new policy statement had little faculty input and sabotaged the faculty committee’s debate on the final wording of the tolerance statement.
“The dean’s policy is an attempt to close the door on our discussion,” Gabbard said in an interview Tuesday. “There was no compromise in this case, and that was very disappointing.”
The college’s faculty advisory committee is still working on a general tolerance statement, said Gerald Kulm, the group’s chairman. The words “celebrate and promote” are gone from the revised version that the committee will vote on today, Kulm said.

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