Letter to the Editor


Catherine Cyr,


I wanted to comment on your article by Daniel McGuire on the religious group that comes onto campus every so often.  I honestly think that they may have a little scam going.  The” yelling man”, as I had always called him, is verbally abusive to anyone who walks by, as the article noted.  I have noticed that they always film when they are here and I have wondered why.  I spoke with one of the students with ASI to congratulate them on standing up for themselves and their fellow students when this “man” was being verbally abusive to them.  As we discussed this situation I brought up that they always film when they are here.  One student suggested that they are trying to get him assaulted and then sue the school.  The Westboro Baptist Church uses frivolous lawsuits to try to get money all of the time.  I did not get the student’s name, but I think he hit the nail on the head.  It all ties together, coming to a state school that has insurance, trying for hours to get into a verbal altercation with anyone who walks by – and filming it.

Because of this “potential” scam and because they are verbally abusive to people, (such as calling one female student a whore, just because she walked by), I think they should not be allowed on campus.  They have the right to free speech, (even hate speech), but they do not have the right to verbally assault someone or to commit slander, (libel, defamation of character, etc.), against one of our students, (or any of them for that matter).  I do think that any student who feels that they have been slandered by them should know the law so that they can file suit against this “religious” group, if they so desire.

*”The common principles in defamation of character cases are, basically, this:

1. Someone published a falsehood about another person.

2. That falsehood was damaging that person.

“Published” doesn’t have to mean printed in a newspaper. It can be said on a TV program, on the radio, in a speech, printed on flyers – basically, it has to be spread somehow, intentionally”.

Filming can go both ways, if they wish to film themselves, fine, but a student who feels threatened or mistreated by them also has the right to film them to prove their case.

In the end, if this group is still allowed on campus, I think the best way to get these abusive people to go away is to walk past them like they don’t exist, film them and threaten them with lawsuits, or tell them, if you need money this badly, perhaps you should consider finding a job.


Thank you,

Catherine Cyr



*By Guy Bergstrom

Updated August 03, 2016 – quote taken from his article for “The Balance”, under laws of slander