For reasons that are beyond the reaches of my imagination, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has allowed a religious extremist, a fire and brimstone “preacher”, to stand in the middle of campus and scream at students. She has not come with a message of love or peace, as Jesus taught. She insists on screaming at the top of her lungs that we are all going to hell, Westboro Baptist style. She has parked herself in one of the busiest areas of campus, directly in front of the library, Brock Hall, and Grote Hall. It’s been said that some professors have had to cancel classes because her screams can be heard through the windows. A student was arrested today for riding his bike too close to her, a path he has probably ridden a thousand times on his way to the library. The question on many students’ minds is Why? Why would UTC allow this hateful woman to yell at us on our campus? And of all times, why right before finals? For the past few weeks, most students have managed to ignore this woman, but it is difficult now that one of our own has been arrested because of her presence. What UTC doesn’t seem to realize is that they have engaged in a type of business deal with each of its students. We pay the school thousands every semester for a service. We expect that service to be delivered in a professional manner, on a peaceful campus. By allowing this woman to scream in the middle of our campus, UTC is not properly delivering the service we have paid for. We do not pay to have a large section of our campus cut off from us. We do not pay to have some stranger scream at us and tell us that we're going to hell. Our campus is no place for her hatred. Our money was not spent to give her a place to yell and disrupt our classes, to shatter the quiet of our library. We have paid you, and now we demand a quiet place to learn. Do not allow people to come onto our campus and scream at us.
- President of the University of Tennessee
Dr. Joe DiPietro
Stop allowing verbally abusive protestors to scream on UTC's campus
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