Young Conservatives Of Texas Adviser Resigns, Ashamed

This story was written by Teri Ruland, The Battalion
John Fike announced his resignation as adviser for the Young Conservatives of Texas Wednesday night due to the group's recent behavior.

"Basically, I was ashamed of the way the YCT has behaved. I had agreed to be the YCT's adviser about three years ago when they couldn't find one so I offered to be adviser. I told them at the time that they needed to stand for what was [the] best conservativism and if I was ever ashamed of them that I was out of there," said Fike, associate professor of engineering technology and industrial distribution.

Because of the recent actions of the YCT, including an egg-toss at a poster of President-elect Barack Obama and the circulation of fliers regarding four Texas A&M faculty members who signed a petition supporting William Ayers, Fike said he has had enough.

"The YCT started trying to call out these people and the YCTs here started circulating fliers with the names and photographs of the faculty members who had signed up [on the website] demanding reasons why they supported former terrorist William Ayers and it really wasn't any of YCT's business," Fike said.

He said that there was no doubt that the young conservatives had the same rights as any other group or individual.

"It's unfortunate that A&M has been embarrassed in this way yet again by the YCT but it would be far worse if the University were to try to curtail their rights, and the University isn't going to [curtail those rights]," he said.

He said the University wouldn't curtail the rights of people because they understand that ideas get discussed no matter how unpopular or unpleasant those ideas may be.

"I'm not interested in being their adviser with these juvenile acts going on, but they have a right to it, no question about it. I would stand up to defend their rights to do it even though I don't like it," Fike said.

Jeff Stever, a senior allied health major, said he could understand Fike's decision.

"If he didn't know what was going on, his actions are justifiable. If he feels he's going to tarnish his name or character, then he should resign, but then again, if he disagrees with it, he could demonstrate that it's not what Aggies do," he said.

Fike's resignation may leave the group's status questionable.

According to University Rule 41: In order for any group to be officially recognized by the University, the group must have an approved full-time faculty or staff adviser who should disseminate information contained in the student rules to recognized student organizations.

"They have a little bit of time to find a new [adviser]. There's not a set amount of time, but they are encouraged to replace them as soon as possible. They couldn't go a long time, otherwise they'll be out of good standing," said Carol Binzer, director of student life and vice president for student services.

Faculty members cited

(UWIRE) -- Kimberly Brown, associate professor of English

Marian Eide, associate professor of English

Patrick Slattery, professor teaching learning and culture

Katherine Bell McKenzie, assistant professor of educational administration
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