Island University students worry a man who preaches on campus could spark violence.
As students walk to their class or take a break from the school day they can hear a man who only identifies himself as Brother Matt.
He stands on the edge of a brick surface and preaches what he says is the word of God.
With Bible in hand he shouts to a group of students:
“You sodomize one another, you fornicate with one another, you break God’s law with regularity.”
Some listening students stand in shock, while others shout back in disagreement.
This is the third time this week that Brother Matt has been preaching on campus. He says he’s from a Missouri church and wants to show students the error of their ways.
But students don’t hear it that way.
Kalyn Noyes who is a senior says, she” thinks if he provokes the right person it could be something. Like if he upsets the wrong person and then it’s going to lead to something bad.”
Noyes isn’t the only student worried about safety. Delaney Rose says people who express different opinions is a good thing to have on a college campus, but the way Brother Matt preaches, she says, he picks on certain students and accuses them of things they haven’t done.
“This guy’s just gotten out of hand like he’s standing there calling people names he’s calling women whore’s he’s calling men perverts,” Rose said. As I interview Ms. Rose, Brother Matt continues his preaching.
“You sorority girls and you frat boys on this campus you don’t love God not if you’re living in sin and probably 100 percent of you are,” says Brother Matt.
After he was done I asked him if he is concerned that accusing students of things they haven’t done could provoke violence and he told me he believes all of the students are guilty of the claims he makes. When asked about concerns of his words provoking violence, he says “I know they will.”
Brother Matt’s lack of concern that his words will provoke violence is exactly what worries students like Kalyn Noyes who says half the time she doesn’t see campus security when Brother Matt preaches.
“Campus security is not always visible when he’s here and that’s what I think a lot of the students would be more comfortable with,” Noyes said.
KRIS 6 News discussed students’ concerns with Vice President of Student Engagement and Success, Don Albrecht, Ph.D.
He told us they will look into stepping up visible campus security to make sure all students feel safe.