University official threatens to call cops on Christian YouTuber for not moving to 'expressive activities space'

A Christian YouTuber was accused of being ‘disruptive’ while filming a video discussing Christianity with a student at Grand Valley State University.

Several school officials interrupted the student and told him he would be arrested if he didn’t relocate.

A YouTuber discussing Christianity with a student at Grand Valley State University was shut down by administrators who threatened to have him arrested.

Hayden Rhodea, a video creator whose content focuses on discussing controversial topics with college students, uploaded a clip to X of an interaction that took place this February that showed him speaking with a student at the Allendale, Michigan school about Christianity when a school official approached and told him to move to one of the campus’s “expressive activities spaces.” 

When Rhodea questioned what would happen if he didn’t relocate, the official said she would call the police.

[Related: GVSU settles with conservatives, gives up ‘speech zones’]

Later in the clip, GVSU Director of Student Life Valerie Guzman approached Rhodea with a copy of the school’s “Grounds and Facility Use Policy,” informing him that he needed to be at least 50 feet away from “academic buildings” and that his use of the particular space was “disruptive.”

Multiple times in the clip, Rhodea told Guzman that he would relocate only if the Grand Valley Police Department (GVPD) told him to move. 

“But what we need you to understand, if GVPD–this is kind of like the warning system. . . . If I have to notify GVPD, you will be trespassed from the university and will be arrested,” Guzman responded. 

“For what? Using my freedom of speech?” Rhodea responded. “Look at where I’m at. Am I disrupting anything here? I’m in the grass,” he continued. 

Eventually, he agreed to move to another area on campus. 

GVSU Assistant Vice President of University Communications for Media and Public Relations Chris Knape told Campus Reform that school policy required Rhodea to relocate. 

“As a public institution, GVSU cannot limit expressive activity based on content. In accordance with the First Amendment, the Michigan Constitution and federal and state case law, we designate spaces in high-traffic, landmark areas of our campus to enable those who are exercising their right to free speech to do so without disrupting normal university operations,” Knape said. 

“Mr. Rhodea was asked to relocate to a nearby, high-traffic landmark designated for expressive activity in accordance with our policy because the location where he was set up was in violation of the university’s Grounds and Facility Use Policy,” Knape continued, also claiming that Rhodea had previously filmed his videos in the other location to which he was moved.

[Related: Students threatened with arrest for handing out Constitutions]

The policy in question states that GVSU “represents the ‘marketplace of ideas,’ and especially for students, many areas of campus represent a public forum for speech and other Expressive Activities.”

“For outdoor University areas,” the policy states, “students, registered student organizations, and employees may freely engage in spontaneous Expressive Activities provided that such activities are in compliance with all other provisions of this policy.” 

The document stipulates that the activity may not be disruptive or create an obstruction. 

Rhodea told Campus Reform that his goal in making these videos is to “[s]pread the Gospel and convince people to support the abolition of abortion as commanded by God in scripture.”