BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The fight for funding at Birmingham-Southern College continues after state treasurer Young Boozer denied the college’s funding application in a letter that arrived on Monday.
BSC has taken action against his decision, filing a lawsuit against Boozer on Wednesday.
“It’s not clear to me that the treasurer would lend this money to any college because I believe we met all the things we needed to meet for this loan,” BSC President Daniel Coleman said.
A campus that has been filled with hope for nearly four months after Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill that would grant funding to distressed institutions was met once again with disappointment and a call to action.
“The First Amendment says the state cannot take away our right to petition the government for redress of a grievance. That’s exactly what we’re doing with this lawsuit. More simply, we’re standing up to a bully,” President Coleman said in an address to students, faculty and alumni on Wednesday afternoon.
Students, faculty and alumni gathered on BSC’s campus once again as Coleman called on everyone to let Boozer know the school met all of the law’s criteria and it is now his duty to uphold it.
“This is not our first choice but we also don’t think it’s right for someone to stand in the way of the legislature, the way we believe the treasurer is,” Coleman said.
Coleman says without the money, the school will be forced to close. However, he’s hopeful a resolution can be met in the coming weeks.
“We’re all invigorated. We’re going to fight for this school. They’re going to fight for this school. I’m going to fight for this school,” Coleman said. “It’s too important to this state, it’s too important to this city to let one person say no, we’re going to make it go under.”
BSC’s campus falls in the heart of Representative Juandalynn Givan’s district. She says if this college goes away, not only will students and faculty be hurt but if there is not a plan for the buildings or land, the surrounding community will be greatly impacted as well.
“You’re going to see folks breaking into the campus, you’re going to see folks stealing, you’re going to see all types of vulgar activity going on because there’s not going to be anyone there to police,” Givan said.
Boozer declined to comment during the ongoing litigation but says he will be “aggressively defending this lawsuit.”