Faculty council to discuss university position on HJR 6

University opinions

Ball State

The administration has asked the faculty council to decide what stance it will take on House Joint Resolution 6. HJR 6 would define marriage in the Indiana constitution as between one man and one woman.

Indiana University

IU declared its opposition to the house resolution Monday.

Purdue University

Purdue is remaining neutral.

Ball State administration has asked the faculty council to decide what stance it will take on House Joint Resolution 6 after an email was sent to President Jo Ann Gora Wednesday. HJR 6 would define marriage in the Indiana constitution as between one man and one woman.

The email followed Indiana University declaring its opposition to the house resolution Monday and Purdue University remaining neutral.

Jay Zimmerman, coordinator of Safe Zone, which provides workshops to “help create a community of allies within the university” for the LGBTQ community, sent an email asking people to email Gora their opinions.

“I sent her an email expressing my views and then sent an email to a lot of people who I know who would oppose HJR 6 on campus and ask them to do the same,” he said. “I’m hoping hundreds, if not thousands, will send her an email.”

Zimmerman said Ball State isn’t a campus that discriminates.

“I think as a university we have to take that to the next step and encourage our legislators not to pass a piece of legislation that is clearly discriminatory that will become part of the constitution of the state of Indiana,” he said.

At IU, Mark Land, the associate vice president of IU communications, said employment is one reason the university decided to oppose HJR 6.

“This [HJR 6] is against our core values as a university,” Land said. “Also, there is an equally important issue here. IU is one of the largest employers in the state of Indiana. We need to be able to compete with other states and companies for the very best people and anything the state does to make Indiana seem less inviting and less welcoming to the broadest range of people makes our job to recruit a little bit more difficult.”

Purdue declined to answer questions.

“Over the years, Purdue has traditionally declined to comment on social issues that have been contended in the public arena,” said Julie Griffith, vice president of public affairs at Purdue, in a press release. “Any departure from this policy should be undertaken only after careful consultation with the university’s many and diverse stakeholders.”

Joan Todd, Ball State executive director of public relations, said discussions on HJR 6 have already begun within the faculty council to determine how to address the university’s stance. Once a resolution is passed by the faculty council, it will advance to the University Senate for a vote, then move to the administration if passed.

“My hope is that [Gora] will support it at that point,” Zimmerman said.

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