At our own campus, a strong presence of religion can be found on the GC Lawns every now and then. A group of extremely religious people can be found screaming into megaphones “preaching” to the FIU community. Seeing as the Graham Center is a popular hangout spot for students, it makes sense they would try to get to their point across where a large crowd of people would be. I went out to ask some students how they felt after their brief encounters with the “preachers”.
“I have a deep and profound respect for anyone that stands up for things that they believe in and speaks up; whether it be political, religious, or anything else. It takes a lot of courage to go out and voice your opinion, it also takes a lot of patience, and it’s difficult to get people that will actually stop and listen to what you are saying. Now I may not agree or have the same stance as some of the things people protest but I do respect their courage. Those that go to the GC lawns and speak of religion take time out of their day to stand in the blazing hot sun of Miami, for hours, and face constant rejection from people that walk past them or don’t care to listen at all to relay the message of the Lord.” Nicole, a sophomore at FIU explains when asked about how she feels about the preachers.
Another example of when a religious presence was felt on campus was just the other day in front of the Graham Center on the Betty Chapman Lawns. 2 older looking men were handing out the flyers pictured below:
As seen above, it is a flyer that is informing the FIU community that if they were not “saved” they would be sent to the eternal flames of hell. I was actually present on campus at this time and was able to witness it first-hand as I was personally handed a flyer. As I walked into GC I noticed all the people ahead of me who had been given flyers did not have them in their hands anymore. So, I did a little snooping and saw that a large amount of the flyers had been thrown out in the first trash can available in GC. I took a minute to ask the girls that were a few steps ahead of me why they had thrown the flyer out. “I don’t typically listen to those kinds of people they’re usually speaking non-sense, so I figured the flyer didn’t make sense either.”- FIU student who prefers to stay unidentified.
This gives a whole new meaning to speaking one’s mind on religious topics. Whether it be screaming it through a megaphone, or handing out flyers speaking about eternal damnation, a strong religious presence can be felt on the grounds of Florida International University.