Another student newspaper, the George Washington University Hatchet, examines the controversy. The article carefully notes that the faculty are primarily concerned about the lack of governance and the think tank, while Taylor Russ, the student body president, insists that SMU’s students are “passively supportive” of the complex. However, since the administration has provided no mechanism for student input, it is not surprising they feel apathetic about this process, which also tends to refute Mr. Russ’s claim that “most students support the library.”
Presidential politics on campus from D.C. to Dallas
George Washington University Hatchet
February 26, 2007
Defenders of the proposal have drawn connections between the proposed Bush Institute and the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University. However, the Hoover Institution reports to Stanford University, a distinction SMU President Gerald Turner drew in an open letter to the SMU community, in which he confirmed “the proposed Bush Institute would report to the Bush Foundation.”
This has formed the center of the debate – not general opposition to the library.
“President Bush is proposing something that is – as I understand it – unprecedented: an ideological or partisan think tank that is affiliated with the University, that gets to use the name, but is not controlled by the school,” said Steven Sverdlik, an associate professor of philosophy at SMU, in an interview with The Hatchet.
Sverdlik stressed that his opposition is not against the library or against President Bush – he is concerned about the issue of governance.