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Administrators at Texas A&M this week settled a lawsuit filed by conservative students by agreeing to pay $1000 in damages and revise discriminatory funding policies for student organizations.
The university agreed to make the payment to the Texas Aggie Conservatives (TAC) after the group filed a lawsuit in December 2011 alleging administrators had improperly refused to provide funding to help cover the costs for a speaking event for noted conservative Star Parker.
Texas A&M administrators claimed at the time they could not fund the event because it violated the program’s policy not to give funding to “Social and Political” student groups. The conservative students contended, however, that the university often supplied funds to liberal student groups hosting events on social and political issues.
The lawsuit was brought against the university with the help of The Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Leadership Institute. Under the settlement the university will supply the student organization with the $1000 speaking fee and ensure conservative student groups equal access to funding in the future.
Marc Pitts, the former TAC chairman during the litigation process, on Thursday claimed the settlement as a victory for conservatives on A&M’s campus.
“This is a great victory for fairness and equality at A&M, not just the conservative movement,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without the guidance, assistance, and encouragement of the Leadership Institute and the Alliance Defending Freedom.”
Current TAC chairman Eric Schroeder, however, hailed the progress but said conservatives on campus still have far to go.
“There is still so much more to be done,” he told Campus Reform. “This was just one funding program. Bias and inequality still exist on campus. The left at A&M still has overwhelmingly more institutional support and funding from the university, from the president’s office down, than the conservative movement at A&M.”
The Texas Aggie Conservatives will continue to fight for institutional and funding fairness and equality on campus.
Texas A&M University administrators did not respond to requests for comment to LI’s Campus Reform.
Follow the author of this article on twitter: @tonylisti
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