It happens every semester: an outrageously-dressed person shows up in front of the University Center and begins spouting preachings that are almost always debatable. Some students gather around him (I have never once seen a female speaker) to listen and argue the validity of what the speaker has to say, and things get dangerously close to getting out of hand.
In the three and a half years I have been at this university, I could probably write you a book on this subject. We at The Northerner always cover these people in some medium because they cause such a racket on campus. I have listened to Brother Rick and John McGlone, and last week I was able to finally experience ‘The Wizard’.
Personally, I feel embarrassed every time I see someone new preaching on campus. I am embarrassed because these people believe things that are, to me, so completely outrageous that people openly ridicule them. I am embarrassed by my fellow students who provoke these speakers – giving them a reason to be here. On top of that, I am embarrassed and annoyed that it evokes these emotions in me altogether.
So what do these men accomplish by preaching on our campus? They are exercising their rights as citizens. The same rights that protect me (and the newspaper) are the same ones that give preachers like The Wizard the right to argue ridiculous viewpoints.
I propose this: Next time one of these preachers comes to campus, just ignore them. Most likely, the person will either: a) Do something that is news-worthy to get attention; or b) Leave. Someone on this staff will not have to write another article about how the preacher thinks pretty much everyone is going to hell; thus, you will not have to be bored by hearing about the crazy that has stomped around campus for several days. In my opinion, the community, as a whole, benefits from this proposal.
Nevertheless, in the event that this plan seems completely off-base to you, please continue to exercise your First Amendment rights.