JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The ETSU Student Government Association approved a resolution Tuesday evening calling on the university to distance itself from Milligan University over the forceful resignation of a faculty member due to their sexual orientation.
The measure, which was passed in a 17–5 vote, calls Milligan’s actions “immoral, cowardly, an affront to human rights and dignity, and counter to the revered American values of hard work, equal rights, and respect.”
The resolution is in response to the forced resignation earlier this year of an LGBTQ professor at the private Christian college. It calls on ETSU’s administration to “cut select partnerships,” including athletic events, with Milligan.
Milligan University SGA President Dalton Shell offered the following statement to News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais indicating his disappointment with the ETSU SGA vote Tuesday:
“The passing of the resolution is disappointing, but I have no additional comments beyond what I have already shared. There are several exciting initiatives planned for Milligan SGA this year, and I want to focus on moving forward.”Milligan University SGA President Dalton Shell
Milligan alumnus Kelsey Maloney-Steiner spoke with News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais, saying she was pleased with the outcome of the vote for the resolution condemning her alma mater for forcing an LGBTQ professor to resign.
Hear Maloney-Steiner’s full interview here:
The measure will now go to the administration for deliberation with a 14-day deadline.
ETSU Chief Communications Officer Joe Smith shared the following statement with News Channel 11 after the SGA vote:
“East Tennessee State University offers venues for dialogue and discourse and is a place where differences in ideas are considered and respected. The ETSU administration is aware of legislation passed this afternoon by the Student Government Association. According to the SGA’s Standard Operating Procedures, a resolution is non-binding and reflects legislation that expresses a formal statement of opinion from the SGA Senate on an issue or matter. As with any action involving the SGA, this resolution will go through the appropriate review processes. At this time, the Office of the President has not had time to review the final version of the resolution that was passed.”ETSU Chief Communications Officer Joe Smith
News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais spoke with ETSU SGA Vice President Seth Manning about his thoughts after the resolution that he sponsored, passed:
ETSU SGA Senator Mason Mosier opposed the bill. He spoke to News Channel 11’s Bianca Marais after the meeting about how he felt the meeting went, as well as how he felt about the votes: