Calvin students hold silent sit-in after anti-LGBTQ display

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of Calvin University students participated in a silent sit-in demonstration to show solidarity after anti-LGBTQ rhetoric was promoted on campus.

“It breaks my heart,” said Jacob Kooistra, a senior at Calvin. “I just hope that they know a lot of people support them as well.”

The sit-in comes after a group of students set up a discussion table on campus earlier this week, which displayed messages such as “LGBTQ is sin. The Bible says. Change my mind.”

“I think it’s very detrimental to the people in the LGBTQ community because it’s basically saying their way of living is wrong,” junior Emma Hayes said. 

The university told News 8 the students who set up the booth did not have permission to have the display on campus. It’s unclear if they’ll face any punishment.

The school president sent a letter to the campus community saying in part, “We want all of our students to know that they are loved.”

“It just makes the LGBTQ community here already feel pushed out and hated,” sophomore Meagan Ctse said. “I definitely think the faculty and the school can do more to be vocal about the situation.”  

Freshman Jasmine Nykamp helped organize the sit-in. She says it’s not the first time she or her friends in the LGBTQ community have felt unwanted on campus.

“For my friend who is more explicitly gay, it’s harder for him and other people on campus too who receive hate from other people, looks, unsupportive professors occasionally in classroom settings. 

Students News 8 spoke to hope the university takes action to make Calvin’s campus a more inclusive community. 

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