Falwell Jr. Announces Effort to Protect Liberty U Students From Protesters

Jerry Falwell Jr.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. |

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. has announced that greater security measures will be put in place at the Virginia-based evangelical school to prevent outside protesters.

In remarks given at the Wednesday morning Convocation event for students, Falwell explained that there will soon be new security measures in place on campus starting Nov. 9.

Berkeley riots
Demonstrators for (R) and against (L) U.S. President Donald Trump push a garbage container toward each other during a rally in Berkeley, California in Berkeley, California, U.S., April 15, 2017. |

"You're going to start seeing a lot of them in the next few weeks. We've worked hard to keep outside protesters who are not invited from coming on campus," said Falwell, receiving strong applause in response.

"[For Convocation], you'll starting walking through those magnetometers, just like you do in an airport and if you're not a student, you have to go through a separate security check."

Falwell said the same thing will be in place for football games, telling students that "we are really taking seriously your safety and security."

"We don't think we can overdo it at all," added Falwell. "It's just something we feel like we had to do. It's sad that we live in a world where we have to worry about those kind of things."

Falwell's announcement comes at a time when other campuses are dealing with violent demonstrations by groups like Antifa in response to conservative guest speakers.

In March, a conservative-leaning scholar named Charles Murray faced violent protests at Middlebury College in Vermont. A professor with Murray was concussed as a result.

In recent times, the University of California, Berkeley has had to cancel events featuring conservative speakers due to on-campus violence.

In Sept., Berkeley spent an estimated $600,000 in security measures for an event featuring conservative social commentator Ben Shapiro due to safety concerns.

"The university estimated it spent $600,000 on security for Mr. Shapiro's visit, not a pittance for an institution that has struggled financially in recent years," reported The New York Times earlier this year.

"Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for the university, said a similar amount was spent in April to secure the campus during the planned visit, later canceled, of Ann Coulter, the right-wing pundit."

Falwell's announcement came a couple days after Liberty police escorted Trump critic and evangelical Christian writer Jonathan Martin from campus.

"In a lengthy statement, Liberty University said the university welcomes "peaceful debate," and that Martin was removed because officials believed he intended to hold an unauthorized event on campus," reported NPR.

"The statement said he did not follow protocols for campus events, that such events require advance notice and authorization and that he was seeking publicity."

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