The Student President at Crandall University is distancing himself from a policy that bans the hiring of gay staff members. Ian Pelkey said he’s received an overwhelming number of calls from students who agree that the personal lives of their professors shouldn’t affect the hiring process.
"Just because we choose to go to Crandall doesn’t mean we agree with all the policies," he said. "A lot of people weren’t even aware that this was a policy."
The rule in question is part of the school’s Moral Code. It states staff must "be sexually pure, reserving sexual intimacy for within a traditional marriage between one man and one woman."
Pelkey said he’s being urged by students and some staff to represent their views, as the policy is making headlines.
"Their voice is what should truly matter."
Faith based education
Thursday, the vice-president of Crandall University said legislation allows the school to educate based on its beliefs.
"In the confines of a faith community, of a religious community, it has that jurisdiction," said Seth Crowell.
'I feel like this is really shading the view of the university in the public eye'—Ian Pelkey, Crandall Student President
But Pelkey is questioning that argument.
"The Christian faith does say do not judge others. And the Christian faith is all about love. So I feel that this policy – to me – doesn’t seem like it’s following those specific guidelines," he said.
Pelkey said many students fear they are being judged harshly for attending the school, even though they didn’t know about the rule before this week.
Appeal to Board of Governors
Crowell encouraged students to speak their opinions – but said it’s up to the Board of Governors to actually change the policy.
Pelkey will become a member of the board this fall. He said he plans to speak loudly against the anti-gay hiring policy.
"I feel like this is really shading the view of the university in the public eye."
Pelkey said the school is also in limbo as its new President doesn’t begin work until August. But Pelkey said he’ll make sure the new head of the school knows where most of the students stand on the debate.
"Whether or not they will do anything about it, I can’t say, because I don’t know."
Pelkey doesn’t think this issue will go away any time soon.
Crandall University, formerly known as Atlantic Baptist College, is a liberal arts school in Moncton. The private school receives some public funding, which some members of the public say shouldn’t continue as long as the policy remains in effect.