Editorial: Baylor would take step backward if bill passes

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist
Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

The Lariat has received letters and comments regarding the proposed Student Senate bill to be voted on today, and we agree with those who oppose it.

The bill, written by Wichita Falls senior Daniel Cervera, calls on Baylor to refuse to host speakers who advocate violent rebellion and illegal resistance to the law.

It was written after Baylor’s Hispanic Civil Rights Forum on Sept. 21. Part of the forum included discussion about the DREAM act, which is a proposed federal law that would offer a path to citizenship for illegal immigrant students who meet certain requirements in the proposal.”

At the forum, Jose Magana, a third-year Baylor law student from Phoenix, sat on the panel and made comments regarding the DREAM act and civil disobedience.

“They’ll have undocumented students do sit-ins and block traffic and go into senators’ offices and refuse to leave, and then they’ll get arrested,” Magana said of DREAM act activists. “And all that serves to draw attention and keep the spotlight.”

While we do not support actions that harm innocent individuals, we support Baylor hosting forums like the Hispanic Civil Rights.

We also back those who defended the forum, such as Dr. Elizabeth Palacios, dean for student development.

She told the Lariat she felt preventing future events of the same nature of the forum would unfairly cut off the flow of ideas to our institution of higher education.

Cervera contested the fact that the forum did not include any criticizers of the DREAM act and called the forum a “political organizing event.”

Palacios denied the forum was a political organizing event and did acknowledge there were no panel members opposed to the DREAM act, but she also said the forum was not intended to be a debate including opposing viewpoints.

Students were also given the chance to ask questions and dispute the panel’s positions, but Cervera did neither.

We can’t specifically harp on the forum, but we look at the past and consider our future when considering the ramifications of this bill.

We think of the letter we received that talked about the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s, in which people broke rules make others think and consider new ideas. That wouldn’t have happened had people accepted the law as it was and remained silent.

Our argument isn’t for people wantonly breaking the law. It is for people who believe we can evolve as a society and a country, even if that means forcing the issue.

Maybe when you read about DREAM act activists blocking traffic you thought, “That’s not right.” Maybe you thought, “They’re doing what the need to do.”

But the important thing is that you thought. There are many more people who can challenge Baylor students’ and faculty’s beliefs, and it’s only right they have the opportunity to speak at our university.