A Texas A&M University student who was disqualified after winning the most votes for student body president has asked a court for permission to take sworn statements from three people in preparation for a possible lawsuit on religious, due process and other grounds.
Lawyers for Robert McIntosh, a senior majoring in university studies, filed the petition Thursday in state District Court in Brazos County seeking to depose Amy Loyd, Rachel Keathley and Aaron Mitchell. Loyd is assistant director of student activities at A&M, according to the school’s website. Keathley is a business honors senior and student elections commissioner, while Mitchell is immediate past speaker of the Student Senate.
A&M’s student-run judicial court disqualified McIntosh for failing to report a campaign expense — namely, glow sticks of the type seen at concerts and raves — that he used in a video. As a result, Bobby Brooks, a junior majoring in economics, was declared the victor, making him the first openly gay person elected student body president at the College Station campus.
Former Texas governor and current U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, an alumnus of A&M, suggested earlier this week in a Houston Chronicle column that a diversity agenda was behind the disqualification — an allegation strenuously denied by the university.
Lawyers for McIntosh say in their court papers that they want to investigate whether he was disqualified “based on the fact that he is a heterosexual, white, Christian male.” Furthermore, they want to determine whether he has the makings of a lawsuit based on possible violations of his state and federal religious, due process and civil rights.
McIntosh says he received 4,977 votes — 763 more than Brooks.
McIntosh’s lawyers want the court’s authorization to depose Loyd “with regard to statements she has made that she did not, and does not, want Petitioner to be elected as Student Body President.” Keathley would be questioned about her actions leading up to McIntosh’s disqualification as well as “her motivation and involvement.” Mitchell would be asked about “his first-hand knowledge” that some “faculty and staff members specifically did not want Petitioner to be elected as Student Body President.”
Brooks, Loyd, Keathley and Mitchell couldn’t be reached for comment. A&M spokeswoman Amy B. Smith said the university had no comment on the court filing.
McIntosh is represented by the law firm of West, Webb, Allbritton and Gentry in College Station.