Free Speech rights tested on UW-La Crosse campus

There was a shouting match on the UW-La Crosse campus Tuesday as people used their right to free speech.

Dozens of students were not happy to hear the message from a group of people at the clock tower, which is the central point of campus. Members of the group called themselves born again Christians preaching to help people find God.

The students say the group was being intolerant and singling people out for things like religion and sexual orientation.

“God said to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, so we go into all the world, whether it be sporting events, in our little hometown, at campuses, doesn’t matter what it is, where there’s people, there’s people that need Jesus,” said born again Christian Ryan Woodhouse.

“The amount of intolerance is just clearly unacceptable to everybody at UW-L, it doesn’t represent what we believe in as a campus,” said UW-L Junior Cady Madson.

UW-L’s Chancellor says he received a number of e-mails from students who were upset at the message being spread. However, since it’s a public institution, he says the university needs to respect everyone’s first amendment rights. “You know you might not like what’s being said out there, but we really do need to be thankful for the fact that those people have the right to say what they want to say, because we can say what we want to say as well,” said Chancellor Joe Gow.

Gow also says the only reason the University would’ve stepped in is if the group would’ve posed a danger to the students.