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College Student Fired From Campus For Feeding Street Preachers

The editor-in-chief of The DePauw newspaper at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, Nicole DeCriscio has announced that she was “suspended” from her position at the publication last fall after giving sandwiches and drinks to controversial street preachers on her campus.

DeCriscio gave an account of what led to her suspension: “The incident began last year, when street preachers with signs that read “you deserve hell” and other charged statements relating to sexual promiscuity and alcohol consumption began to appear at the university.

“The presence of the street preachers, who were affiliated with The Campus Ministry USA group, led to small protests on campus among students who took offense to the signs. The DePauw newspaper reported on the street preachers multiple times, and eventually the religious group left the campus.”

What caused DeCriscio to lose her position as editor-in-chief at the paper last October was an op-Ed she wrote about the preachers titled “Why I Brought Brother Jed a Sandwich” that was published in an online content sharing site for Millennials called The Odyssey.

She explains in her op-Ed for The Odyssey that she brought sandwiches and drinks to the preachers, including the group’s leader Jed Smock, with the hope of “[demonstrating] Christ’s love” and communicating an “effective” message that “has the power to change the hearts and minds of others.”

DeCriscio wrote last October; “What I have found is that [Jed Smock] and other members of The Campus Ministry USA are completely different when you talk to them on an individual level. They are far gentler, and the love in their message, which isn’t conveyed when they’re screaming on sidewalks, shines through.

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“I chose to bring food and drink to the controversial preachers to show Christ’s love.”

The former editor added; “I’m a Christian, and as such, I believe that God calls me and other Christians to universally show the love of Christ to others. You don’t just turn this outpouring of love on or off depending on who it’s directed toward. It’s not a light switch.

“Doing so is the very opposite of showing Christ’s love because He showed love through corporal works of mercy to everyone, from the sinners to the pharisees and every possible person in between.”

“The campus had decided to hate Brother Jed. Because I saw him as a whole person, I think it was the content why I got fired. [Meg Kissinger] said the same thing would have happened if I wrote about kittens, but I don’t believe that.”

Following her op-Ed, DeCriscio received a dismissal letter from Kissinger claiming the reason she was excused from her position as editor-in-chief was because she violated the newspaper’s code of ethics on conflict of interest by befriending the preachers.

The letter reads:”By inserting yourself as an interested actor within the ongoing news story, you created a conflict of interest that was both avoidable and ultimately damaging to the reputation of The DePauw.

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