The Scientific Activist

Back in my undergraduate days at Texas A&M University, I often lobbied for there to be a student representative on the A&M Board of Regents (the organization that governs the university). With issues such as skyrocketing tuition negatively affecting A&M’s students, I thought that it was important for the students to have their own voice on a board that was otherwise pretty disconnected from their daily lives.

Apparently, this finally came to fruition the year that I graduated. The latest appointment from unpopular Republican Governor Rick Perry, though, is a complete bastardization of the whole idea:

Nearly every decision the Board of Regents makes affects every student in the Texas A&M University System. In 2005, the Texas Legislature established a student representative to their ranks, allowing a venue for more student input. That position is now held by a student from a campus other than College Station.

The Board announced new Student Regent Cassidy Ann Daniel, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry on Feb. 5, along with nine students appointed for other state institutions. A senior political science major at West Texas A&M in Canyon, Daniel is the second student to serve on the Board, after Tyson Voelkel’s year-long term ended on Feb. 1….

Daniel is the president pro tempore of the West Texas A&M Student Senate, chapter chairman for the Young Conservatives of Texas at WTAMU and is the state vice chairman of Chapter Relations. She is a 2006 Ronald Reagan Future Leaders Scholar and a 2003 Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient.

(emphasis added)

The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) is infamous as a right wing extremist organization, characterized by its homophobia and its outspoken opposition to a variety of mainstream values, including diversity in higher education and academic freedom. Such gems include its annual gay-bashing parade, its affirmative action bake sale, and its professor watch list.

I would be skeptical of a member of this organization serving on the Board of Regents, but the idea of the YCT’s chair being placed in such a position is absolutely absurd. Granted, the student body of Texas A&M University is more conservative than most, but I can personally vouch for the fact that the YCT was a marginal (although vocal) voice on campus that did not represent the views of a significant proportion of A&M’s students. I hope the current students raise hell about this.


Hat tip to Meredith Clancy for sending me the Battalion article.

Comments

  1. #1 Meredith M. Clancy
    February 19, 2007

    You forgot the “Catch an Immigrant” Day event, but I guess you were already safely over across the pond by then.
    Yes yes, although our chapter of YCT has fallen into disrepair following the departures of its infamous leaders, it seems the hardly-mandated governor has taken it upon his good-haired-self to put one of its other members in a place of extreme power.
    Just think, if more Kinky voters had voted for Chris Bell, this all could have been averted….

  2. #2 Rick Bogle
    February 19, 2007

    “The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) is infamous as a right wing extremist organization, characterized by its homophobia and its outspoken opposition to a variety of mainstream values, including diversity in higher education and academic freedom.”

    “Granted, the student body of Texas A&M University is more conservative than most…”

    Aggies aren’t particularly known for their warm embrace of homosexuality or any sort of diversity. Mainstream values indeed.

    How absolutely odd that anyone would voice concern over a conservative group in College Station… what a hoot! This is a match made in cowboy heaven.

  3. #3 Gerard Harbison
    February 19, 2007

    Hmmm…translated from your dialect of weaselish, it appears that opposing ‘diversity in higher education’ actually means opposing racial and gender preferences. I can’t be bothered to translate the rest of your screed into plain English. If you don’t like being summarily dismissed, try using honest language.

  4. #4 Nick Anthis
    February 20, 2007

    Opposing basic measures to help correct past racism and current racial inequality implies an acceptance of the current unfair status quo. I have no qualms about addressing this with direct language, and doing otherwise does a service to no one.

  5. #5 Morty
    February 23, 2007

    The majority of Americans oppose homosexuality and affirmative action. Why is it you think these views should disqualify someone from being a regent?

    Also I noticed the Texas Tech apointee Ebtesam Attaya Islam is a practicing Muslim. Do you object to her appointment? Her views surely do not “represent the views of a significant proportion” of her campus.

  6. #6 Nick Anthis
    February 23, 2007

    This isn’t necessarily about someone’s personal views and it certainly isn’t about a person’s religion. This is about someone being in charge of an extremist organization and now being given a leadership position at Texas A&M.

  7. #7 DurRightWingProfessorsBlogDur
    February 27, 2007

    Please ignore Gerard gentleman…one moment please… Gerard…GERARD…now we said you can blow as much wind about the internet as you like, but you must confine it to your crap blog, okay? Again, sorry about that. “weaselish” indeed.

  8. #8 KMOX
    February 27, 2007

    Point A)
    Did I read that correctly? Someone actually tried to compare being the chair of a political group to being a Muslim?

    Good lord, what’s next? I suppose some stupid Papist, er.. I mean Catholic, will want to be president…

    (has anyone seen my hood?)

    Point B)
    Just because the majority of American oppose “homosexters” and affirmative action doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re ethically, logically, or legally in the right–the majority of Americans also like to watch _American Idol_ and don’t read good.

    I think the “majority” of Germans at a given point in the last century thought Hitler was a pretty good guy, as well…

  9. #9 PJ
    March 14, 2007

    “This isn’t necessarily about someone’s personal views and it certainly isn’t about a person’s religion.”

    Of course it’s about someone’s personal views. If that person was nice little leftwing robot, you’d have no problem at all with them being on the Regents board. Your sole objection is that this fine young student is a (shudder) conservative. Even worse, a *Young Texas conservative* and card-carry member! I can imagine you hauling them in front of the academic review board – “Are you know or have you ever been a member of the Young Conservatives of Texas.”

    ” This is about someone being in charge of an extremist organization and now being given a leadership position at Texas A&M.”

    Nick, you have shown you are even more narrow-minded than those you oppose. Apparently, having a difference of opinion with the benighted Nick on affirmative action and racial preferences disqualifies you from holding any position of responsibility.
    Yes, they hold affirmative action bake sales, where the ethnic makeup determines the price of the cake – yes, it exposes the fraud that is affirmative action of the politically correct campus thought-police.
    Yes, liberals and leftists are outraged. So outraged, they call this fine examples of free speech ‘extremist’ because they’ve run out of cogent arguments against their hypocrisy-exposing.

    “Did I read that correctly? Someone actually tried to compare being the chair of a political group to being a Muslim?”

    Someone successfully blew away the bogus argument that Nick made that since YCT didn’t represent him and his kind, they had no business beig on the Board. If you know Aggies you know that the Young Conservative represents the Aggie student body far better than a Muslim rep. It’s fine that both are on the Board, and good luck to them all.

    As for those like Nick who actually think they are in the right to bemoan this: There are many forms of bigotry. Congrats – your narrow-minded anti-conservative bigotry is on full display here.

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