On Jan. 11, the first day of spring semester classes at Wheaton College, some students are protesting the termination of the professor who said that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Student concerns are ongoing surrounding the circumstances of Professor Larycia Hawkins' review and termination process. Some have taken to Twitter in protest using the hashtag #ReinstateDocHawk:
Outside Edman Chapel, the site of weekly all-campus chapel services, students gathered Monday morning in a show of solidarity for the professor, chanting, "Tell me what theology looks like? This is what theology looks like!"
One sign says, "You say this is 'innocuous?' Then act like it!," referencing a TIME report on Jan. 9 that revealed Wheaton provost Stan Jones had originally called Hawkins' Facebook posts "innocuous" in a private email to another member of the faculty.
In a press release provided to Sojourners, students commented that, "Students still believe that reconciliation is possible by reinstating Dr. Hawkins with tenure immediately, ending the termination process, and issuing a public apology to Dr. Hawkins."
According to the press release:
Student protestors will be wearing all black as an outward expression of sorrow and lament regarding the course of action taken by Wheaton administration, and the resulting distrust and broken relationships. Additionally, many faculty members will be wearing their full academic regalia as a sign of embodied solidarity with Dr. Hawkins.
Throughout the week, students will continue the “sit in” in the office of Provost Dr. Stan Jones and President Philip Ryken. Additionally, several faculty including Dr. Noah Toly and Dr. Brian Howell will be holding “teach ins”, in which they will lecture and present information relevant to the actions by the administration.