U Dallas grad condemns commencement address, calls on school president to apologize for speaker

Brent bozell

Brent Bozell

A cum laude graduate at the University of Dallas‘ 2015 spring graduation ceremonies is calling of UD President Thomas W. Keefe to apologize for a bigoted rant of a commencement address delivered at the school’s recent spring 2015 graduation ceremony, or let LGBT students know they aren’t welcome at the school in the first place.

University of Dallas, a private Catholic liberal arts university in Irving, was included on The Princeton Review’s 2013 list of the “most gay-unfriendly” schools in the country. But Maxwell Frazier, who just received a degree in science, said he heard a speech by Keefe four years ago that convinced him to attend the school, despite it’s reputation as homophobic and conservative. Frazier said that Keefe had pledged, “Everyone, regardless of background or creed, was to be made welcome and at liberty to share their thoughts.”

But after the school invited right-wing activist/writer Brent Bozell to deliver the spring commencement address, Frazier said called on Keefe to apologize and establish a gay-straight alliance at the school, or “make a clear statement that we are not wanted and will not be accommodated for at UD. To be anywhere in between is to fail your entire student body. You cannot deceive and mislead people into thinking an environment is healthy for them if you are not dedicated to fulfilling that promise.”

Bozell, who has founded a number of right-wing “media” organizations, has had articles published in a number of newspapers and magazines and is a regular on Fox News’ Hannity. But last year, former employees of his Media Research Center claimed that Bozwell pays a ghostwriter to write his columns and books, at least one newspaper dropped his regular column.

Bozwell is no stranger to controversy. In 2011, during a Fox News broadcast, he said President Obama looks like “a skinny ghetto crackhead.”

Frazier said Bozell turned “what should have been a celebratory speech into an aggressive and politically charged tirade. … He obliged our student body to willingly break anti-discrimination laws and be proud to face criminal charges for discriminating against homosexuals. He very clearly made me out to be the enemy of my entire graduating class. He lamented a mediocre reality show being canned by its network for its patriarch’s homophobic commentary, and a moment later called for us to stand against South Park for portraying the pope the way it portrays everyone, satirically ridiculous. The hypocrisy and textbook homophobia were prevalent.”

Frazier’s “open letter” to Keefe is available online at Change.org as a petition. View it here. In a comment on the Change.org website, one U Dallas graduate said he was ashamed by the school’s intolerance and noted when he attended, former U.S. senator and current Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was invited to speak at a commencement ceremony.

—  Tammye Nash

Princeton Review’s 20 most gay-friendly and gay-unfriendly colleges in the U.S.

UDallas

The Princeton Review is out with its gay-friendly and gay-unfriendly schools. SMU remained off the gay-unfriendly list for a second year, but the University of Dallas, Texas A&M and Baylor made the list at No. 10, 11 and 12, respectively. No Texas schools are on the gay-friendly list. View the full lists below.

—  David Taffet

SMU drops 2 spots to No. 16 on Princeton Review’s list of most homophobic schools

The Princeton Review’s Annual College Rankings were released Monday, and SMU again appears on the list of the nation’s 20 least LGBT-friendly schools. However, after finishing at No. 14 for two consecutive years, SMU dropped two spots to No. 16.

Other Texas schools that made this year’s least LGBT-friendly list are the University of Dallas in Irving at No. 7, Baylor University in Waco at No. 11, and Texas A&M University-College Station at No. 17.

No Texas schools made the most LGBT-friendly list, which is led by Emerson College in Massachusetts, followed by Stanford University and New York University.

To view the full rankings, go here.

—  John Wright

SMU lands at No. 14 on list of most homophobic colleges for 2nd straight year

Four Texas schools, including two in North Texas, made the Princeton Review’s list of the 20 most homophobic colleges in the nation this year.

The University of Dallas came in at No. 8, Baylor at No. 11, SMU at No. 14 and Texas A&M at No. 15 on the list titled, “Alternative Lifestyles Not an Alternative,” which is part of  The Princeton Review’s “The Best 371 Colleges — 2010 Edition.”

It marked the second straight year that SMU was named the 14th most homophobic school in the nation. Baylor was 8th last year and Texas A&M was 12th, while the University of Dallas wasn’t listed in the 2009 edition.

New York University was named the nation’s most gay-friendly school this year, with no Texas schools appearing in the Top 20.

Each of the four Texas schools that made the most homophobic list also appeared on other Top 20 lists. The University of Dallas made the top 20 for “Least Beautiful Campus” and “Most Conservative Students;” Baylor was in the top 20 for “Most Conservative Students” and “Most Religious Students;” SMU was in the top 20 for “Little Race/Class Interaction;” and Texas A&M was in the Top 20 for “Jock Schools” and “Most Conservative Students.”

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—  John Wright