Texas Christian University has offered counseling to students who were distressed after conservative podcaster and comedian Steven Crowder filmed his show on the Fort Worth campus earlier this week.
On Monday, Crowder set up a booth on a public sidewalk with a sign that read, "Rape culture is a myth. Change my mind." His show, "Change my Mind," usually features a controversial statement and he challenges people to change his mind.
Dozens of students surrounded Crowder while he filmed his show. He debated with students on whether or not society at-large promotes, encourages or tolerates the raping of women.
Crowder said he "doesn't believe that we live in a culture that supports or condones rape" and that his stance is based on "empirical data" from law enforcement reports.
What did the students say?
A female student told Crowder that she had been "raped," and argued that "so many rapists don't go to jail."
"I've been sexually assaulted by a boy on this campus who walks around and goes to class every single day," she said.
Crowder pointed out that she started out saying that she was "raped" but later called it a sexual assault.
He explained to her that someone can be sexually assaulted or harassed without being raped.
Student Bennet Baker told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he saw some students crying near Crowder's booth.
“I can see for victims how that would have been for them. Maybe it wasn’t the best spot for him, maybe he could have been at the end of the street where people could talk if they wanted to,” Baker told the newspaper. “People with bad memories were forced to see the sign.”
Another student didn't think Crowder should have been on campus.
“I think the main feeling was, why are you on our campus?” sophomore Taylor Long told the Star-Telegram. “Rape culture is definitely more prevalent on a college campus. That especially made it 10 times more offensive because of its prevalence here.”
What did the school say?
In a statement on Monday, the university said Crowder's "views adversely affected" many on campus.
“Today, Steven Crowder chose to challenge our students on a public sidewalk in front of the university. While the Constitution gives him the right to express his views, the sentiments he expressed do not align with TCU’s values,” the university wrote. “His views adversely affected many members of our campus community. The health and safety of the Horned Frog Family is of utmost importance and we encourage individuals to contact campus resources for support.”
The following day, the school's vice chancellor for student affairs, Kathy Cavins, issued a statement that called the event “a day of disappointment that the university failed to remove the source of their pain from the public sidewalk," the Star-Telegram reported. " I want to acknowledge the pain that I saw yesterday and the disappointment that I heard.”
What was Crowder's response to TCU?
Crowder tweeted his response to TCU's statement, asking how "views adversely affect" the campus community.
"I was stating in the affirmative that the United States, and particularly campus' in general do not perpetuate a 'rape culture,' Crowder told the Daily Wire. "TCU went out of their way to strongly disagree with me. What does that say about the TCU culture?"