ACLU lauds ULL gay studies minor
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sent a letter of support to University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Joseph Savoie commending the school on offering a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies minor.
The area of study came under fire from the conservative Louisiana Family Forum organization and U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia.
Family Forum President Gene Mills said the area of study didn’t conform to “Louisiana values.” Landry called it a waste of taxpayer money.
In response, ACLU Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman said the university has the “right and obligation to provide its students with an education in whatever fields the university deems appropriate.”
“A program of study that encourages understanding of a cultural minority can only have positive results for society,” Esman added. “The LGBT community faces discrimination across Louisiana and this country. For students to learn about the institutionalized discrimination, as well as about cultural stereotypes and biases, bolstered by the best scientific information available on this subject, is a clear step towards equality for all.”
FEMA awards tech college $230,000
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the Capital Area Technical College $230,000 to remedy damages incurred on the school’s Westside campus in Iberville Parish in 2008 during Hurricane Gustav.
The storm damaged the roof at the Main Manual Arts and Multipurpose Classroom Buildings, causing significant water damage to the computers and other electrical equipment inside, according to a FEMA news release.
FEMA has awarded roughly $515,000 in Gustav repair funding to the Westside Campus since the storm.
Nominations sought for award
The Bureau of Governmental Research is seeking nominations for the BGR Excellence in Government Awards 2012.
BGR hopes to recognize state, parish and municipal employees for outstanding performance and creative problem solving. The award carries cash prizes of up to $1,000. Past honorees have included educators, police officers, recreation directors and technical personnel, among others.
This year, BGR is introducing a new award, the Citizenship Award, recognizing a private citizen who has worked to improve the quality of government.
Nominations must be received in the BGR office by noon July 23. Nomination forms can be found on BGR’s website, http://www.bgr.org, or by contacting BGR at (504) 525-4152, ext. 108.
Jindal moves Ballard to LSU supervisors
Gov. Bobby Jindal has pulled Scott Ballard, of Covington, from the Board of Regents, the state’s top higher education board, and installed him as a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors.
Regents Chairman Bob Levy called Ballard’s reassignment a “win-win” as Ballard will be in a position to build relationships across systems and campuses.
State Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell described Ballard as a quick study who will be an asset at LSU.
Ballard weighed in with a statement saying: “As a member of the Board of Regents I stood alongside the other members as we made a series of bold recommendations, and I intend to continue supporting those kinds of ideas when they make sense for our state.”
SU System president to host 7 meetings
Southern University System President Ronald Mason will embark on a seven-city tour across the state as he hosts a series of town hall meetings.
In a statement, Mason said he will talk about the unique financial and political challenges Southern has as the state’s only Historically Black College and University System and the challenges they face as a result of budget cuts, enrollment declines and increased health care and retirement costs.
Mason said the system must renew itself as a “model 21st Century HBCU system of higher learning.”
The Keys to the Future of the Southern System” town hall tour will be held between July 20 and July 26 in Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Monroe, New Orleans, Franklinton and Baton Rouge.
The town hall in Baton Rouge will be held at 6 p.m. July 25 at the A.W. Mumford Field House on Swan Street on Southern’s Baton Rouge Campus.
Sen. Peterson to be Press Club speaker
State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party, will be the speaker for Monday’s noon meeting of the Press Club of Baton Rouge.
Peterson will talk about the party’s response to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decision to refuse Medicaid expansion called for in the Affordable Care Act. She will also discuss challenges facing the Democratic Party in Louisiana.
The Press Club meets at the De La Ronde Hall in downtown Baton Rouge, 320 Third St. Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.
The public is invited, but only members of the Press Club and members of the news media are allowed to ask questions.
GOP women to host shower for charity
Republican Women of Central will be hosting a “Virtual Baby Shower” to benefit the North Baton Rouge Women’s Help Center on Wednesday, from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Guest speaker will be Barbara Thomas, North Baton Rouge Women’s Help Center founder and president.
The public is invited to bring “gifts” by donating child care necessities such as gently used, clean baby and children’s clothing, high chairs, strollers, bottles, formula, disposable diapers (packages may be opened), baby wipes, baby foods, diaper bags or gift cards from Wal-Mart, grocery stores, Babys R Us or other similar retailers.
Maternity clothes in good condition and school supplies are also needed. Gifts and donations do not need to be gift wrapped.
All items should be clean, safe and need no repairs. All gifts will be greatly appreciated.
Doors for the RWC meeting Thursday will open at 11:15 a.m. for networking and socializing, and the meeting will begin promptly at 11:45 a.m., ending at 1 p.m.
Meeting attendance including lunch is $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers and guests.
Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org.