Baylor Alumni Network drops SeaWorld tradition

A Baby Orca swims alongside its mother. The Baylor Alumni Network has changed venue for their Summer Trip, planned for SeaWorld initially, because of research of Baylor’s values and conviction statement.
Associated Press
A Baby Orca swims alongside its mother. The Baylor Alumni Network has changed venue for their Summer Trip, planned for SeaWorld initially, because of research of Baylor’s values and conviction statement.  Associated Press
A Baby Orca swims alongside its mother. The Baylor Alumni Network has changed venue for their Summer Trip, planned for SeaWorld initially, because of research of Baylor’s values and conviction statement.
Associated Press

By Dane Chronister
Reporter

The Baylor Alumni Network changed its 2015 traditional Diadeloso summer venue from San Antonio at SeaWorld to Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

The trip will include a reception on June 19 to be held at The Alamo.

The network has also planned a family day to Fiesta Texas on June 20 that will be open for families and other Baylor Alumni.

This all spawned from the efforts of Smith Getterman, assistant director of sustainability and special projects.

Getterman proposed the venue change a year ago after looking into Baylor’s values and conviction statement.

“As a Christian university, Baylor is committed to the highest pursuits of scholarship and offers a distinctive voice to global conversations about crucial issues – such as social responsibility, health care, economic growth, human rights, poverty, diversity, and sustainability – in a way that few others can,” the statement reads.

After viewing Blackfish and other species preservation bits himself, Getterman suggested to Derek Stephenson, director of future alumni, young grad and social/global outreach, that a venue change might be a good idea in order for the Baylor community to appreciate all of God’s creation.

“I actually took Derek a copy of Blackfish and this other documentary called The Cove, that Outside Magazine did an article over called ‘The Killer in the Pool,’ which is all about this Orca at SeaWorld, it’s treatment and how it ended up killing one of it’s trainers,” Getterman said.

Getterman said he hopes that others, like Stephens would view Blackfish and these other works to think about the support of SeaWorld themselves.

“We firmly believe all that we talkk and preach here, in the Office of Sustainability about caring for creation,” Getterman said. “That means the beasts of the land, the birds of the air and the fish in the sea or in this case mammals.”

Houston freshman Erica Thorpe has been a certified scuba diver for seven years and explained her passion for the ocean and everything in it.

“I believe captivity is okay when it comes to providing for animals who need the help, but when you mess with an animals’ structure, you mess with their lives,” Thorpe said. “Since Baylor is sponsoring this event and holds Christian values we have to remember with that comes human values and we should treat animals the same way we treat people, especially if families are involved.”

Getterman echoed that sentiment, by saying we should have respect for all of God’s creation. “When we talk about sustainability we are not just talking about energy,” Getterman said.

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