WTAMU students and FIRE organization file suit against president Walter Wendler

WT Drag Show March
WT Drag Show March(kfda)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 10:59 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2023 at 11:32 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The work week has concluded but protests at West Texas A&M University continue over a canceled event, surrounding an email from the president of the university which has led to a lawsuit.

Demonstrators have been camped out around the buffalo statue all week, but today, students joined forces against Wendler. Along with The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression a lawsuit was filed against president Wendler.

“I think he knew going into it what the backlash would be, personally I don’t think he needs to apologize,” says Caleb Frick, student at West Texas A&M University.

Along with the lawsuit, students marched from the statue all the way to Wendler’s house during the afternoon, to leave impassioned letters.

Many supporting Wendler were also sharing their opinions on campus as well.

“I speak for the majority that say no to drag queens coming to West Texas state University, much less any place else in the Texas panhandle,” says Janet Scroggs, community member siding with Walter Wendler.

The student organization “Buffs for Drag” told me this afternoon they do not plan on letting up. Not until they get a formal apology from president Wendler and a notice of his resignation.

One student says, the reason Wendler waited to denounce the show was because, “in his mind, it’s impossible for any students to do anything within a weeks notice, but here we are,” said Nolan Quintanilla, organizer of WT Buffs For Drag.

Students and community members supporting Wendler throughout the week agree that they don’t want the drag show on campus either.

“I know strippers would not be allowed on campus and I might get bashed for this but show me a drag show that doesn’t involve people making suggestive sexual movements. Anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see or you wouldn’t want a five year old to see is never appropriate around anyone,” said Frick.

“When they are trying to sue Wendler for banning something on campus that has nothing to do with learning, I think they are out of their league. I don’t think I should have a leg to stand on to sue him,” said Scroggs.

However, protesters of Wendler disagree, they’re partnering with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression or FIRE, to sue the president for violating West Texas A&M students’ first amendment rights and the student bill of rights.

“It states that we are allowed to have free expression and since Spectrum is a student led org on campus and is certified underneath the campus every single event that they decided to have is justifiable,” said Quintanilla.