FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2011
CONTACT: Kathryn Richardson Public Affairs Young Conservative Texas-Baylor Chapter
425 891 2319 Kathryn_Richardson(at)baylor.edu
* * *MEDIA ADVISORY* * *
University-Sponsored Illegal Immigrant Activism Sparks Response
Waco, TX –Hispanic leaders in Texas are joining a student’s fight against a political culture they say pigeon-holes minorities as reliably liberal. Daniel Cervera, a senior at Baylor University, filed legislation at his school’s student government in response to what he describes as selective enforcement of university policy. “The school essentially sponsored a speaking platform to an illegal immigrant enrolled in our law school, who then used that platform to speak in favor of civil unrest to push a political agenda,” said Cervera.
Greg Torres, a member of the student senate, agrees the University’s decision to sponsor illegal immigration activism violates established policy and precedent, “It’s embarrassing for all Hispanic students whose families have worked hard to make a name for themselves, as opposed to doing it illegally and in a way that university policy clearly opposes.”
One university official claims Cervera’s proposal threatens to stifle debate on campus. Dr. Elizabeth Palacios, Baylor University’s Dean for Student Development, is quoted in the November 3, 2011 edition of the campus newspaper, saying “As a university, we are never going to be Tier 1 if we censor thoughts that are incongruent [with our beliefs].”
But senior class senator Gabriela Garrett, a Hispanic co-sponsor of Cervera’s legislation, says Palacios’s response all but proves a double standard exists at Baylor. “Apparently, Baylor’s administration would sooner silence a legal citizen advocating for gay rights than they would an illegal immigrant advocating for special government benefits.”
Garrett referenced a report from the March 4, 2011 edition of the campus newspaper, with Palacios defending the private Christian school’s decision to deny the Sexual Identity Forum, a GLBT-advocacy group, an official charter.
“When it’s apparent that there is a stance being taken by the language, by the spirit or by the intent of a group, then it takes on a different purpose and it takes on a different slant,” said Dr. Palacios, explaining the school’s decision to deny a student group charter.
Duke Machado, president of the Hispanic Republican Club, says Cervera’s action marks the importance of minorities becoming more independently engaged. “It needs to start with us,” said Machado, “It’s important that minorities aggressively counter abuses of racial identity for political gain.”
Felipe Reyna, a retired appeals court justice and Baylor Law graduate, also weighed in on the matter, “For a Baylor Law student to speak favorably of engaging in unlawful activity to push a political view is really shameful. I sincerely hope university administrators will rethink their decision to defend sponsoring such an event.”
***This press release is not from the Republican Party of Texas. The New Texas Forum is reproducing this to raise awareness of Student activism on the Baylor campus***