A University president has gotten in trouble with students and staff after he opposed a simple gay pride sign.
Houston Davis is the president of the University of Central Arkansas, and he’s currently facing backlash over a small library sign. Staff members of UCA’s Torreyson Library put out the sign on June 11. The sign, shown above, depicts a simple quote from Lady Gaga saying, “Being gay is like glitter. It never goes away.” The president requested its removal the day after it was placed.
Davis then sent the below email message to students and faculty, which excuse his action as an attempt to shield high school students, who were visiting the school, from a “personal viewpoint.”
“I believe that the intent of the message was to show support for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff, but it was not okay for the university sign to be used to make a personal statement or advocate for a personal viewpoint,” he wrote. “That is the line that the sign itself crossed.”
Davis then added, “Unlike our student groups or other organizations, the library is an official arm of UCA and when it ‘speaks’ on that sign which serves information regarding library hours, it speaks officially. We do have to be very careful that we walk the fine line between individual freedom of speech and institutional voice.”
But apparently, this wasn’t all of Davis’s idea. According to the ArkansasOnline, Davis, the board of trustees, and elected officials received several complaints about the sign from students, social media users, and community members.
But not everyone’s buying that story.
“I think he [Davis] didn’t care because his bigger concern was the money that was coming in from minors,” said Ashley Nicole Hunter, a senior from the school who has decided to withdraw after this incident.
“The letter just reinforces the suspicions that we already had about why the school removed the sign,” she added.
“It just confirms that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that UCA’s policy of diversity means, as long as it looks good for the university and doesn’t conflict with people who give us money.”
The Arkansas Times also expressed distaste for the situation.
“Where are the right-wingers now to protest enforced political correctness (Rapert-style) on a major college campus?”
“Would the president or Rapert or his acolytes allow ANY acknowledgment of Pride Month by UCA?”