Local Universities React To Chamber Of Commerce Actions - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/4/08

Local Universities React To Chamber Of Commerce Actions

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Some area Universities are reacting to the Chamber of Commerce's decision to lead an alcohol sales election petition.   When the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce announced in August it would lead an alcohol sales petition drive, several members of the religious community, including the Lubbock Area Baptist Association, were upset with the Chamber's decision. 

That decision is why Lubbock Christian University President Ken Jones resigned his position on the Chamber Board. However, LCU says they still have a good relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. "We feel like the Chamber does some good things in Lubbock. We continue to be a part of it, although we don't agree with this particular issue," said Warren McNeil, the Assistant Vice President of University Relations.

Wayland Baptist University does not have that relationship with the Chamber anymore. Recently, the University severed ties with the Chamber of Commerce because Wayland Baptist Leaders say they disagree with decisions the Chamber made regarding alcohol. "It was becoming increasingly difficult to separate the Chamber's advocacy for the referendum, and read it as anything but support for the expansion of alcohol sales in Lubbock," said Wayland Baptist University President, Paul Armes. 

The Chamber would not comment Thursday on the issue, but when NewsChannel 11 talked to Chamber leaders about tensions with the religious community back in August they said they don't support alcohol sales, just Lubbock citizens' right to vote on the issue. "There's a large sector of our community that will make this a religious debate, but again we will not counter that debate because ours is not a religious debate. Ours is a constitutional privilege that is gained by folks that want to vote on particular issues, and we want them to have that vote," said Chamber of Commerce President, Eddie McBride. 

Wayland Baptist University leaders said the University may rejoin the Chamber after the alcohol sales election is over.

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Lubbock County Liquor Sales Map
Liquor by the drink boundary and packaged liquor sales map for Lubbock County. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to open this file)

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