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Friday, March 17, 2006

 

More on Equality Ride and Regent University

In an email Mark Yarhouse, detailed his account of the E Ride visit:

We had Equality Ride come to the campus on Monday and Tuesday. The university had made arrangements to hold three forums with ER: one meeting in one of my classes, one panel discussion, and one training through the institute I direct. However, due to the way the university was being portrayed on their web page the week prior to the visit, the administration withdrew the offer, in part because they were dealing with a number of questions from the media based upon how the university was being portrayed.

Several students from the School of Psychology and Counseling went out to engage and dialogue with the ER participants. That led to an invitation by the students to have some of the ER folks attend a worship service that evening. I understand that five ER participants attended that time of worship.

On Tuesday six of the ER folks crossed over the property line and were arrested by VA Beach police. Several university students continued to interact with the ER participants and they shared a meal that evening at a local restaurant before they left for Lee University. I interacted with several of the ER folks. They were quite young (18-27, I believe), and were consistent in their use of non-violent protest. I think they admitted that much of their concern was to raise awareness of what they viewed as discriminatory policy, but it became clear that the university does not have any admissions restrictions based upon whether a person has a homosexual orientation or identifies as gay or lesbian.

I think the media coverage has been fairly accurate. The focus was more on the arrests than on the informal interactions and dialogues, but some of the media coverage did capture that as well.

Mark Yarhouse

I didn't see media coverage of anything except the arrests. Perhaps Mark meant the local media.

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