The last day of January was a busy one, with new participants entering the debates over the Library and Institute, and old ones weighing with new information. SMU’s Student Senate Endorsed both the Library and Institute by the vote of 27 to 5. John Jose, the first-year Senator who wrote the resolution, tells me that “I’m fairly confident that the senators understand the difference between the library and the institute.” The campus chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas — an organization that came to prominence several years ago when it hosted an “affirmative action bake sale” on several campuses featuring more expensive prices for white males — announced the start of a petition drive in support of the Library and Institute. Debate between faculty members continued in the pages of the student newspaper.
The United Methodists organizing within the church against the Library and Institute announced the results of their petition drive thus far, which include the support of fourteen bishops and six hundred pastors. Among the signatories number members of some of the most venerable and prominent SMU families, including that of legendary SMU President Willis Tate and the Perkins-Prothro family, after whom our Theology school is named, and who just gave a gift of six million dollars to SMU. I have no knowledge or information about the politics of the United Methodist Church, but these are obviously heavy-hitters. This is all getting much more intense and more interesting, and coming to involve more and more parts of SMU’s extended community.