Demonstrators with anti-gay signs picketed Rowan University’s Glassboro campus Thursday afternoon, university officials said.

University President Ali A. Houshmand said the demonstrators quickly drew attention from Rowan students, who countered the provocative speech and signs.

Reports said demonstrators carried signs and wore clothing with anti-gay and anti-women slogans. According to 6ABC, two students were arrested for throwing sodas at the demonstrators.

Houshmand issued a public statement Thursday evening on the school’s Facebook page.

“Rowan University is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the community and rejects the abhorrent sentiments expressed by the protesters,” the statement said.

The university briefly directed students to avoid the area, but a counterprotest began as students encircled the protesters.

Freshman Emily McGrath, an alumna of Egg Harbor Township High School, was leaving the Campbell Library about 1:30 p.m. when she saw her fellow students gather around the demonstrators.

“There were four men (spreading) hate and about 400 students surrounding them at the peak,” she said.

McGrath said the students formed the counterprotest to express disdain for the demonstrators’ messages.

“We wanted to let them know hate does not have a home on our campus,” McGrath said. “We have such a diverse campus, it was important to us to rally together and show that we don’t condone that.”

Student Government Association President Rbrey Duane Singleton issued a message to students: “We’ve been standing in the face of hate today, and many in our community have been standing against hate their entire lives. Let’s be bigger and turn our backs on hate.”

Glassboro police and campus security were on scene as the demonstration drew further attention, barricading the demonstrators near the student center patio.

Houshmand said the university is obligated to allow freedom of expression but does not endorse or condone hate speech.

Contact: 609-272-7286 LCarroll@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPress_LC

Staff Writer

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments