Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

WSU agrees to move chemistry class out of religious coffee shop

September 29, 2017

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— Wichita State University said Friday that a chemistry class will no longer meet in a religiously affiliated coffee shop following an objection filed by a former student in that class.

Ron Matson, dean of the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at WSU, said in an email statement that the class would be moved to another venue.

“The expressed concerns are being addressed," Matson said. "The remainder of the instruction has been placed online. The weekly class meeting at the coffee shop will not occur today (Friday, Sept. 29) or anytime in the future. Going forward, the class will be moved to a different venue yet to be determined.”

Sam Kier, a student who enrolled in that class this semester, said he eventually withdrew from the class after learning that it was meeting in an off-campus coffee shop operated by the Lutheran Student Center.

Kier told the Journal-World that the professor in that class, Katie Mitchell-Koch, did not want to meet on campus because of concerns about a new state law requiring public colleges and universities to allow concealed-carry firearms on campus. Mitchell-Koch did not return phone calls seeking confirmation of that statement.

Comments

MerriAnnie Smith 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Seems like common sense to me. A university owned by the taxpaying public doesn't put its classes in a church or anything that presents itself as religious - no matter what the religion is.

Why isn't the class on university grounds? I have 3 degrees from WSU and never heard of such a thing.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why were they meeting there? Is WSU out of classrooms? I sure hope they weren't doing labs there. I'm not sure I would want to drink the coffee.

But a Lutheran coffee shop had to make me laugh. Garrison Keillor used to make jokes about Lutherans and their love of coffee. "You might be a Lutheran if you count coffee among the sacraments."

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