The two protests are scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 a.m. and Friday at 10 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of the Shorter University sign on Shorter Avenue.
Lee Hight, who graduated in 1973, is among the organizers of Thursday’s protest.
“This is not helping Rome,” Hight said about Shorter’s policy. “It’s not helping our recruitment efforts. I am fearful about accreditation, and the board (of trustees) doesn’t seem to care about that.”
Shorter drafted a faith statement that full-time employees and faculty must sign.
The university commits to only hiring “Bible-believing Christians, who are dedicated to integrating biblical faith in their classes and who are in agreement with the University Statement of Faith.”
Employees must find premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality “unacceptable.” Employees of the university are also forbidden to drink alcohol in public.
It has been the university’s policy since 2008 to hire Christians only, and that policy is part of the school’s acceptance into the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.
Protesters are asked to park behind Provino’s and Chick-fil-A, and to dress in black.
Signs are encouraged but can be no larger than three feet by three feet.
An email received by the Rome News-Tribune states that the Friday student protest is scheduled to coincide with the inauguration of Don Dowless, Shorter University’s president.
A demonstration permit has been approved by the Rome Police Department for the Friday protest.
This call out on the Equal Rights Peaceful Protest at Shorter University's Facebook page is planned for Thursday.
"We are trying to Protest in front of both the 8am and 9am traffic that will be on Shorter Avenue Thursday. If you can't make it at 730am, Come at anytime. Park and Walk to the area. Bring Signs. Know Your Message.
If you believe that the new "Personal Lifestyle Pledge" at Shorter affects the opportunities of the friends and families of this community... then join us for a Peaceful Protest. Some will wear Shorter T-Shirts to show the entire town's affiliation to Shorter. This college is a well of economic influence in Rome, GA and as citizens of this community we have the right and duty to stand together to uphold the equal rights in which we believe are fair.
As a community, I believe that all people are entitled to a life of non-discrimination and I believe that this Pledge affects not only the staff and students at Shorter, but also the morale of the community as a whole.
We will be making signs, but please read up on the information and know your personal message.
Come stand with us and stand up for what you believe in.
This protest may happen each week consistently. We are trying to make an impact. I particularly am excited for the opportunity to stand with my neighbors in peaceful protest for Equal Rights of all citizens, but upset that Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination are still issues present in our community.
Again, this is a peaceful protest and we do not condone any form of protest other than such."