By Paul Pelech | Staff Writer
A group of students gathered in front of Hovde Hall at 1:00 PM today to protest Purdue University’s failure to fire staff member Jamie Newman after he jokingly suggested raping a pro-life student. “We just want the University to understand that we take sexual assault very seriously,” Garen Bragg stated, “even if, by their actions, they didn’t show that they did.” Bragg, a Christian and strongly pro-life student, used social media to organize today’s protest.
Following Newman’s online statements, Purdue took no action against him, stating that although his comments were “repugnant,” they would give him an opportunity to explain himself if possible. The university later demanded an apology from Newman.
“[Newman’s statements] had to do with abortion in the case of rape and he made several outrageous claims that I felt were completely unprofessional, that many people felt were completely unprofessional and were in fact threatening,” Bragg said. Although Bragg said he received wide support online when he first organized the protest, the group that gathered in front of Hovde was rarely larger than ten people. The main reason for the protest’s low attendance was Newman’s resignation earlier today.
“Obviously, since Mr. Newman resigned this morning, we don’t have any explicit demands that we can make,” Bragg said. “We’ll know that [this protest] is a success if when the next time this happens Purdue takes it more seriously.”
Although the protest started with chanting and a visit from Channel 18, it ended an hour early, many of the pre-prepared cardboard signs never seeing use.