Bill proposed to defund ATU's department of diversity and inclusion

Amendment looks to defund ATU department

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- Students and professors from Arkansas Tech University met Wednesday night to put together a plan for their trip to the capitol Thursday morning.

This visit, a chance for them to voice their concerns at the joint budget committee where a proposed amendment by Representative Trevor Drown will be voted on; an amendment that would defund Arkansas Tech's department of diversity and inclusion.

Upset community member Kristen Foster said, “the plan is to go in and have a United front and let our legislators know that this is not what our students want or what our community wants.”

Representative Drown said he filed the proposed amendment because of an event called Sex on the Lawn the LGBT organization on campus put on.

Student Jenna Eggleton said they've had this event the past three years so they don't understand why it's a problem now, “to say that educating people, making people feel safe, making people feel loved, to say that's that wrong, I don't understand that.”

Kristen Foster said there's more to the department than this one issue, “the department does a lot more than just the Sex on the Lawn that was so controversial.”

Eggleton said this proposed amendment is disturbing, “to have so many people feel like the state they live in doesn’t welcome them, that's sad to me.”

Representative Drown said he filed this amendment because of the complaints from constituents in the River Valley area.

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.”

The people from Tech want to make it clear they're not boycotting at the capitol tomorrow, they said they're simply reacting to a decision they disagree with. The joint budget committee will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday morning to discuss and vote on this amendment.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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