Itemizing the Truth

RECEIVED Fri., Sept. 9, 2016

Dear Editor,
    Several of the things reported in your article about me are not accurate “Sparks Fly at First ACC Trustee Forum,” News, Sept. 9]. I wanted to let you know by itemizing the truth in this letter because I am sure that it is your desire to accurately report the truth about each candidate. Thank you for writing about the ACC race. It is a vital institution in Austin and deserves the attention. I am passionate about student success. ACC's successful student outcome rates (transfers and granting of associate's degrees) are lower than most of the community colleges in Texas. I know the Chronicle is concerned about reporting the truth. I trust that you will publish this letter in its full form in your print and online edition as a way to clear up the facts.
    1) I never advocated or even implied abstinence-only education. In fact, I didn't even bring up the topic. When asked about sex education, I said that if ACC pursued health centers and sex education, then it should include, among the various items taught, the topic of abstinence and strategies to successfully abstain until a student is in a lifelong, committed monogamous relationship. There are many health studies that have found this is an extremely emotionally and physically healthy option. This seems a fair and balanced approach to me.
    2) You wrote that Campus Renewal's mission is "getting religion into higher education." This is not part of our mission statement. We simply work to unite all the Christian leaders of student organizations on a campus to better meet the spiritual needs of students. We are passionate about bridging personality, racial, denominational, and other boundaries between Christians. We don't do anything to effect what is taught in class. The word “university” comes from the ideas of “united diversity.” The best thing is to allow freedom of discussion on all topics and academic truths will naturally rise to the top. That is the essence of what a university experience is supposed to be all about. My running for ACC has everything to do with student academic success. I hope most board members can distinguish their occupations and community volunteering efforts from their roles as board members. I know I can.
    I am passionate about student success. ACC's successful student outcome rates (transfers and granting of associate's degrees) are lower than most of the community colleges in Texas. I want to see ACC continue in the progress it has been making this last year or two to change that. We can't continue saddling students with debt and not delivering them an end product (certification, associate's degree, or transfer to a four-year school) that gets them better employment.
Sincerely,
Jeremy Story
Candidate for ACC Place 9
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