Quotes to note: sexual harassment a mounting issue

From the recent city council decision to ban disposable bags to Ted Nugent’s endorsement of Mitt Romney for president, these are among our favorite quotes from the past several days.

“The University does not tolerate sexual harassment in any form, and we have a strong policy that prohibits it. … We began investigating these allegations as soon as we learned about them and took appropriate action.”
— Patti Ohlendorf, UT Vice President for legal affairs, on the termination of Cleve Bryant, an associate athletic director for football operations, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

“If we allow the dance team on Kyle Field, or a woman to hold the position of yell leader just to get with the times and modernize, how are we different than any other school in the nation? … If we allow one, what is to stop the other from happening?”
­— A&M University student Tim Bardin, on the candidacy of female student Samantha Ketcham for yell leader. Traditionally, yell leaders at A&M have been solely male.

“This is about Austin reclaiming its position as the national leader in environmental protection. This ordinance is forward-looking. It may have taken a few years, but we got it right.”
– Rick Cofer, vice chairman of the city’s Zero Waste Advisory Commission, on the coming ban on single-use shopping bags in Austin, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Early Friday morning, the Austin City Council unanimously voted to ban the use of single-use plastic and paper bags in city retail stores, with certain exceptions. The ban will take effect in March 2013.

“If the real Rick Perry had been at those debates, he would still be in the race. … Whatever occurred at those early debates that caused the real Rick Perry to take a back seat to whoever that was literally caused my wife to cry. We thought, ‘Has he been advised by idiots?’ To this day, we still don’t know what happened.”
– Ted Nugent on his recent decision to endorse Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary. Nugent expressed regret that Gov. Perry was no longer in the race, according to the Texas Tribune.

“Obamacare’s latest mandate tramples the First Amendment’s freedom of religion and compels people of faith to act contrary to their convictions. The president’s so-called ‘accommodation’ was nothing but a shell game.”
— Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott last Thursday, on President Barack Obama’s contraception mandate, according to a press release. The attorney general’s office joined six other states in legally challenging the mandate.

“It’s regrettable that graduation rates have become such a handy weapon to use against institutions that serve low-income and first-generation students.”
– UT El Paso President Diana Natalicio on the pressure to improve four-year graduation rates at Texas colleges, according to the Texas Tribune. UT El Paso graduates only 10 percent of its students in four years. Richard Vedder, a professor of economics at Ohio University and vocal critic of Texas higher education, has openly questioned why the school is being kept open in light of its low graduation and high dropout rates.