- John ClaybrookStudent Body President, Texas A&M University
Claybrook: Veto Student Senate Bill 65-70 and Represent Actual Student Body Views
Texas A&M University and its students pride themselves on being a part of an institution that welcomes everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or lifestyle choices.
Our university prides itself upon creating a wholesome environment for ALL Aggies. The Religious Funding Exemption Bill seeks to destroy that, threatening resources for students such as the GLBT Resource Center, all without discussion of the financial reprocussions that an "opt-out" will have on these organizations.
Our Student Sentate is notorious for not representing the views of its constituents. It is time that they got a reality check and a veto from our Student Body President, John Claybrook. He should not allow this misguided bill to represent our university on the national stage.
Real Aggies don't "opt-out" of helping other Aggies, so demand Claybrook veto this bill!
*To those of you who have taken off your Aggie Rings today... please put them back on. Don't let the misguided viewpoint of a few students dictate who an Aggie is.
- Student Body President, Texas A&M University
As an Aggie who supports all other Aggies, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle choices, I am asking you to veto Student Senate Bill 65-70. Our student senators did not represent the voice of the majority of Texas A&M University students when they decided to vote for this bill.
You know what this bill really does, and that it is not about students expressing their moral beliefs through the opting-out of a $2 fee. What this bill does is show the rest of the world that Texas A&M University and its students do not accept all as Aggies. It shows that we are intolerant, that all who attend Texas A&M University cannot possibly support someone with a different lifestyle than us, and it tells Aggies who are supported by the GLBT Resource Center that it is not morally acceptable for them be a part of the Aggie family.
The Religious Funding Exemption Bill is sweeping, vague, and silent on the ramifications that the "opt-out" will have on the organizations affected by it. How will the university compensate for the deficit in funding that will result from people opting out of paying for certain fees? What is the criteria for being eligible to opt out and how can it truly be enforced? How will the university be able to create a budget if there is a level of uncertainty in the amount of student fees that will be brought in? These are all questions and issues that this bill poses, but it and our senators have been silent on the answers.
As individuals, we are not allowed to simply “opt-out” of taxes that we do not morally agree with. Many of our student senators who voted for the bill may be too young to pay their own taxes, and therefore do not understand that this concept of “opting-out” of payments simply does not exist in reality. So why should we promote this concept in our university, especially when its message is discriminatory and intolerant?
As my student body president I am asking you to represent the views of myself and my fellow students (since my student senator representatives have failed me) and veto the The Religious Funding Exemption Bill.
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