Liberty University Would Fine Students Who Skipped Ted Cruz Speech

Josh Fatzick | Reporter

Sen. Ted Cruz delivered the first official speech of his 2016 presidential campaign to over 10,000 students Monday during a convocation ceremony on Liberty University’s campus in Lynchburg, Va.

While it appeared Cruz gave his speech to a packed house, students at the Christian university were obligated to attend the event due to stipulations in their student conduct code.

All Liberty students are required to attend convocation on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or they face a $10 fine and four reprimands. To put that in perspective, though, possession of an R-rated movie on the campus will get a student 12 reprimands and a $50 fine. Involvement in witchcraft or other satanic activity gets 30 reprimands, a $500 fine, 30 hours of community service and possible expulsion.

Some students saw the forced attendance to the Cruz speech as an opportunity to participate in a little bit of civil disobedience. The students, who told the National Journal they didn’t want to appear to support Cruz, wore “Stand With Rand” shirts and sat in clear view of cameras filming the speech.

 

“We were upset about it. All students who live on campus, so over 7,000 are required to attend or have a $10 fine,” McGowan said to Buzzfeed. “We know that Ted Cruz knows this and it’s a smart idea to have a captive audience to announce your campaign. To have 10,000 people show up. Most students take this a tacit endorsement. People on Facebook have been saying oh the board wouldn’t have allowed him to come if they didn’t think he was the right candidate.”

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