Colorado school reverses ruling in gay funding dispute
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – The chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has reversed her ruling that a student leader violated non-discrimination rules by not formally approving funds for a gay and lesbian group’s event.
But the chancellor, Pam Shockley-Zalabak, said she still found the student’s actions “troubling.”
The group, called Spectrum, represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. The money was for a National Coming Out Day event.
Student body President David Williams neither approved nor vetoed the group’s request for $2,100 last fall but allowed the funding to go through without his signature.
In a message to the Student Senate, Williams said if he signed the request, he would be signalling approval of Spectrum, but that he disagreed with the group’s “message and agenda.”
Shockley-Zalabak said in December that Williams had violated Student Government Association rules requiring student leaders to be objective and nondiscriminatory about funding.
Williams appealed to the Board of Regents, which declined to hear the matter and instead sent it back to Shockley-Zalabak.
Last week, Shockley-Zalabak issued a statement saying Williams’ decision to let the funding go through without his formal approval didn’t cause any delay in the funding. She said the evidence was insufficient to conclude he broke the rules.
But she said Williams did “engage in viewpoint-discriminatory conduct” and repeated her assertion that his actions were “troubling.”
No one answered Williams’ phone at the Student Government Association on Wednesday, and he didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.