On the Bill Buckmaster Show on Friday, May 17, when Steve Kozachik was asked if the city's courting of Grand Canyon University to develop a campus on the the El Rio Golf Course property in Barrio Hollywood would move forward, the Tucson councilman said he didn't think it would and doesn't think it should.
Grand Canyon University wants to build a 100-acre campus in the Tucson area, and the city offered a special deal or lease for the golf course — although the Range was told recently that there have been 11 potential sites total that the city and university has identified for its campus development. Kozachik said he isn't involved in negotiations, so doesn't know the other sites identified.
"It was a big mistake going into negotiations with that group," he said.
One concern, Kozachik shared was an existing contract with the Conquistadors for their First Tee program, an after school program that is "well received by the community in the immediate area," and is known for teaching life skills, not just golf. The organization recently put in $2 million in to the facilities there.
The next reason he questions the idea is the west side community's 40 year history with the park, Joaquin Murrieta, the golf course and community center, that happened with organizer and community members protested and took over the park.
"On the heels of PCC (Pima Community College) and TUSD, we don't need a huge food fight," he said.
Plus, the school bylaws, will most like not play well in a community like Tucson, he quipped.
Community organizers called El Rio Coalition II released information early in the week when it was announced the city council would discuss the Grand Canyon University proposal in executive session at the Tuesday, May 14 meeting. The school's bylaws were released, and yep, the private university's bylaws are pretty clear on page 23:
Grand Canyon University will be guided by the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from the creator God and that the purposes of this gift include the uniting and strengthening of the marital bond. These purposes are to be achieved through heterosexual relationships within marriage.
Misuses of God's gift will be understood to include, butnot be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual
assault, incest, adultery, fornication and homosexual acts. In an effort to minimize awkward situations, and to
protect their personal relationships, students are expected to refrain from inappropriate or lingering public displays
of affection or confrontation.
Grand Canyon University will strive to deal in a constructive and redemptive manner with all who fail to live up to these standards. Dealing individually with each case, efforts will be made to counsel and assist those involved. Constructive forgiveness will guide all efforts. Sexual misconduct as described above, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, may result in disciplinary action.
Students who engage in sexual misconduct will be subject to the disciplinary process as follows:
10 hours community service
15 hours community service
20 hours community service and possible loss of campus housing privileges.
Visit the by laws here.
Kozachik said the city moving forward to negotiate with the university to help them acquire the city golf course property "will generate nothing but ill will and just a mistake to move forward."
"I don't think the City of Tucson, the west side residents and the Conquistadors are not here to curry favor with Grand Canyon," he said. "If they want to curry favor they could come in gracefully and encourage the community ... not create a huge blow back."
The councilman added that he didn't think it was the city's obligation to find them a site — plus the school's anti-gay policies doesn't reflect Tucson.
You can listen to the entire show here, including the interview.