A large crowd of students grew at Paley Library when religious speakers protested Monday afternoon. The speakers were familiar on Main Campus and students were in an uproar holding up signs and shouting provocative remarks at them.
Both the speakers and students were in a heated debate over the topic of sinning and “the message of God.” The situation escalated to the point where Temple Police had to intervene.
According to police, because of their location on the steps of Paley, which is university property, the speakers were asked to leave and find a public location or legal action would have to be taken.
The speakers’ leader for the demonstration was Don Karns, a preacher that travels specifically to colleges with other speakers from across the country to “share the word of God.”
Karns explained that because they did not possess a permit to be on the university’s property, they were asked to move and they complied.
“This [Bell Tower] is a public street, we don’t need a permit,” Karns said.
The majority of students reacted negatively toward the speakers, but Karns said that they continue to do what they do because they “love these kids” and want them to understand that.
“Everyone has a right to free speech. We go to colleges all the time and the [behavior] is no different,” Karns said.
The speakers had been in front of students for a better part of the afternoon and junior psychology major Daniel Sokoloff said that he had been there since they started speaking.
“In their minds, they’re fighting the good fight. It’s very one sided,” Sokoloff said.
Sokoloff, before transferring to Temple, went to Bucks County Community College and said that nothing like Monday’s gathering normally occurred on their campus. Sokoloff further explained that he felt the speakers lacked evidence to back up their arguments and with a large group of students that were throwing around crude remarks out did not help anything either.
“I don’t think any of us really care,” Sokoloff said. “You at least need to have an agenda. Don’t just shout random stuff.”
Junior and biology major Ziad Traboulsi, along with 2012 graduate engineering major Ramy Shalabi also said that the speakers were not listening to the students’ points of view.
“I don’t get mad, [they] should just be open-minded,” Shalabi said.
Though both Traboulsi and Shalabi did not agree with the speakers and what they had to say, they also said they did not see the benefit in students shouting crude comments.
“It’s unfair and doesn’t help anything,” Traboulsi said.
Addy Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.