Tags: clemson university | students | free speech | pray | evangelist

Clemson Students: University Preys on Those Who Pray

Clemson Students: University Preys on Those Who Pray

(Jeffrey Collins/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 August 2016 01:45 PM

An evangelist offering to pray with students at Clemson University was reportedly ordered to leave because he was not in a "designated free speech area" of the campus.

Robby Roberts was sitting in the South Carolina school's Trustee Park with a sign that read "prayer" when he was approached by an administrator who told him he was violating university policy, according to WeRoar Clemson, a student free-speech activist group.

After the incident, the university emailed students: "An individual not affiliated with Clemson was on campus inviting others to pray with him via a sign he posted on campus grounds. It has been inaccurately reported that Clemson prohibited this individual from praying on campus."

But a WeRoar Clemson said that explanation is wrong.

"Clemson didn't tell Robby he had to leave because he was praying, they told him his offer to pray with students who approached him was solicitation. Even the word invitation is too strong for what Robby was doing, sitting silently with his sign, studying scripture," the group said on its Facebook page.

"Never mind the fact that this doesn't even meet the school's definition of solicitation. The sign he 'posted' was a sheet of paper labeled, 'PRAYER' sitting in the chair beside him. In the eyes of Clemson, Robby's prayer is solicitation."

A video of the incident has been posted on YouTube.

One student, Kyra Palange, a member of Clemson Young Americans for Freedom, told WYFF4 News she sat down and prayed with Roberts for 10 minutes after which a university official told the evangelist he was not in a "designated free-speech area."

Palange also told WYFF's Mandy Gaither that the official said Roberts "wasn't a student and he couldn't be there. He had to have permission from the university."

"I was kind of surprised and dismayed that something like that would happen here," Palange said. "Anytime you say we have a designated area where you can express your opinions and express free speech, by default you're saying there are other areas where you can't."

WeRoar Clemson plans to hold a rally supporting Roberts and protesting the university's action on Friday.

Clemson, established in 1889, is a public coed school with just over 22,000. Its ranking in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 Best Colleges is 61 in the national universities category.

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An evangelist offering to pray with students at Clemson University was reportedly ordered to leave because he was not in a "designated free speech area" of the campus.
clemson university, students, free speech, pray, evangelist
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2016-45-31
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 01:45 PM
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