College President Bob Knight sent an email to the Clark community on Thursday evening, declaring cancellation of operations at all Clark college locations on Oct. 22, the date of the planned Patriot Prayer demonstration led by Joey Gibson.
In the email, Knight said he made the decision with the executive cabinet, the board of trustees and legal counsel including Clark’s attorney general. Knight said their decision came after a large number of staff and students spoke strongly against allowing the group to come to campus.
“All classes are cancelled and all employees should not report to work unless requested by a supervisor to support critical functions,” Knight said. “We recommend that all members of the college community, with the exception of those serving critical functions, stay away from the college that day …including those at Washington State University Vancouver and Columbia Tech Center.”
Knight said that Clark is an institution of learning and work that must maintain a nonviolent environment.
Knight addressed Patriot Prayer’s lack of completed application forms for having a First Amendment activity at the main campus, stating “…that the group has not taken the steps we normally expect organizations to complete in advance.”
Knight said that while closing the college on Oct. 22 is not a permanent solution to protecting the college from an increasingly violent political climate, “we feel that suspending operations is our most prudent course of action.”