Last Thursday, Mau 04, 2023, students were surprised to discover that people with posters had shown up at their school. These people came with posters with sayings that were preaching against sin and promoting people to repent in the name of Jesus. They also came with microphones and megaphones to make their point heard. They set up in the courtyard in front of the Stevenson Union, and let us say, the students were none too pleased with this.
People showing up with signs preaching the gospel is normally not something for people to get mad at, but in this case, it was not just preaching about love for Jesus. The messages on the signs were blatantly homophobic. In the image depicted below the sign reads: Our lies, hate, theft, greed, lust, porn, fornication, LGBTQ, abortion, and all other sin earn death and Hell. Trust Jesus! Be Saved!
Now, this school is known for being accepting of people of all shapes, sizes, colors, sexualities, and gender identities, so the students came out in force against these people. They hung up pride flags and posters in combat against the people. They hung the rainbow pride flag, the non-binary pride flag, and their own poster on the second floor of the Stevenson Union. The students also brought out their flags and protested against the protestors.
Some students just took their flags and stood in front of the people to block fellow students from seeing the signs because they did not agree with the hurtful messages. Others took their newly made posters and went to stand where everyone could see them. Many students decided to talk to the men with the microphones and megaphones to have a conversation. The hopes of this conversation was to get these people to leave and take their hurtful messages elsewhere.
The Siskiyou was able to listen in on some of the conversations and heard some interesting points made on both sides. A question arose from many of the students: “Why does my love for someone of the same sex bother you?” The response from the man with the microphone was: “it does not, you are living in sin, and I am here to save you.”
Campus Public Safety as well as a couple of Ashland Police Officers were stationed in the Stevenson Union courtyard to make sure the conversations did not get out of hand. When crowds shifted, so did Campus Public Safety. The school was safe and their presence prevented any malice from spreading or getting out of hand.
This protest of back and forth went on for a few hours. Around 4:00 PM, the last of the people with signs left the campus and the students cheered. This is a regular occurrence at SOU, but The Siskiyou is glad to see how the students form in unity to protest against those who wish to deliver messages that cause people to harm.