Letter to the Editor

Ignore the preacher on campus

By Ellen Picken, EWU Student

The college campus is the one of the central places in our society for free speech.

The proselytizers have a place in the outdoor court here at EWU. They’ve been here for decades.

But hate and ranting is not a call for change; it is a sign of mental illness. What our latest preacher needs is compassion not confrontation. He will not change his mind or behavior, ever.

Engaging in debate with him only increases aggression. Not only his, but everyone involved. It is up to us to create a positive and safe environment for each other. When the cops are called to remove this person, it is not because he is harming himself; it is because there is an audience and people provoking him. That interaction is dangerous. Let’s be smart and figure out what to do before we resort to police intervention.

It is obvious that the students here want to stretch their intellectual muscles. So instead of arguing with a person who cannot communicate, shift the conversation to each other, figure out constructive ways to calm the situation. Walking away and reflecting is also an option.

I write this not because the preacher bothers me, he doesn’t. I overheard a student, a Christian himself, who said he feels afraid something bad is going to happen, it is disrupting his studies and he doesn’t feel safe.

Please encourage your fellow students not to give this man an audience and do not try to change his mind. Think about the atmosphere you are creating for your fellow students.