A former Baylor University regent is in trouble for 2009 emails showing he lacked respect for female students. Now, his comments may serve as ammunition in sexual assault cases against the college.
Describing Baylor female students who drank alcohol as “perverted little tarts,” Texas lobbyist Neal “ Buddy” Jones added that this group of people pursuing college degrees at Baylor were the “vilest and most despicable girls,” Raw Story reports. But that isn't all. To the veteran lobbyist, the “group of very bad apples” were engaged in behavior that “is insidious and inbred,” Jones said in emails sent to a faculty adviser.
In these documents, Jones also suggested that one of the women he was referring to should be expelled for her behavior. But the email recipient ignored this call, reminding Jones that the student in question was a senior at the time and of legal drinking age.
While this particular exchange does not seem to be related to sexual assault cases currently under investigation, at least 10 women are suing Baylor for having allegedly discriminated against them and other women on campus.
During his decade serving as a Baylor regent, Jones spent at least two years as a board chairman. Now, former Democratic state Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, the attorney who represents the 10 women in the discrimination case, is saying that the undisclosed emails strengthen his case as prohibiting student drinking is used as “a tool to discriminate against female students, not just those involving sexual assault victims.”
“There is an attitude that alcohol consumption just in itself — even if it is legal — somehow connotes some sexual deviancy,” Dunnam said. “It is just sickening and offensive to think that attitude is going on anywhere, much less a Christian university.”
When asked to comment on his 2009 email exchange with a faculty adviser, Jones said his comments “were hyperbolic and too harsh.”
Saying he regrets having made them, he noted that “[t]hey reflected an emotional, angry moment long ago.”
“Sometimes people do stupid things. And this qualifies as one of mine,” he added.
Jones also told reporters he is the father of four girls.
Despite Jones' apologies over this questionable conduct, the school has yet a long way to go in redeeming its reputation. Facing several lawsuits regarding sexual assault cases, as many as 19 Baylor football players are believed to have been involved in violence since 2011.
While this discovery does not help Jones' image as a former regent, it also shows that those in power at Baylor may not see female and male students as equals. If anything, the surfaced emails will help sexual assault victims and others pursue their cases as the messages demonstrate that some school officials were biased against women in the first place.