Campus Ministries, USA (Jed and Cindy Smock) will arrive at DePauw University today around lunch time, but DePauw University faculty and student organizations urge students not to engage with these public figures due to their “offensive [messages] often designed to elicit an emotional response,” according Charlene Shrewsbury, DePauw chief of police. Student Affairs, with the help of DePauw Student Government (DSG), is hosting activities, free merchandise, identity flags and food trucks in an attempt to discourage students from interacting with the Smocks.
“As a private university, DePauw does not permit demonstrations by external groups unaffiliated with the university or that aren’t sponsored by a university department or official organization. However, we legally cannot restrict movement on public property, which includes city streets running through and adjacent to campus,” Shrewsbury said in a mass email sent to students on Sept. 13.
Shrewsbury requested the Smocks to gather on the south side of Hanna Street, just south of the Memorial Student Union Building. Crowd gates will be erected for security purposes, but the Smocks may walk around other public property.
DSG urges students to support each other and reject hate speech perpetuated by Campus Ministries, USA by redirecting attention to other planned programming. “We charge all DePauw community members to remember that ‘hate cannot drive out hate,’ for it can be the most difficult thing to temper our anger and will it into something else, especially because anger often stems from injustice,” DSG said in an email to students on Sept. 13.
The Women’s Center and other spaces on campus will be open today from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for students seeking a safe space. “From 8-10 p.m. we’ve got breathing room, just kind of a place to be, which could be especially helpful. Wherever students find respite they should go to, to take care of themselves and each other,” says Sarah Ryan, associate dean of student success.