Updated: Friday, 25 Sep 2009, 12:52 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 24 Sep 2009, 11:18 PM EDT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A heated protest rallied outside the Lawson Science Building at Purdue, where controversial guest Bill Ayers spoke on Thursday night/
Controversy arose due to Ayers' former association with the radical group "The Weather Underground."
That anti-war group was responsible for multiple bombings in the 1970s.
Hundreds of people came out to voice their outrage about Purdue University allowing Ayers to speak to faculty and students.
"Purdue's a school of great character and integrity and we feel like inviting guests like this to our school jeopardizes both of those items," said protester Katie Ryan.
Only a select group of students and faculty were allowed inside the Lawson Science Building for Ayers' speech, which further angered protesters.
"We tried to get in - into the publicly funded building - as students, and the administration locked it down and we don't think that's very constitutional," said Purdue student Jake Witteveen.
Protesters carried signs and chanted. Some went farther than homemade signs, however, and made look-a-like bombs using hot dogs. Shouts of "communists" and "shame on Purdue" rang out from the crowd.
People going to see Ayers' speech were met with boos from protesters, but some defended Ayers presence on campus.
"People here saying they support free speech but protesting a man speaking today seem to be in conflict of that value," said Purdue student Joseph Kaminski.
Purdue University College of Liberal Arts Interim Dean Irwin Weiser said the University stood by its decision to let Ayers speak.
"If universities aren't places where all kinds of people can come to speak about issues that are about interests to the members of the university community then we've lost our way," said Weiser.
Still, the opposition to Ayers appearance outweighed supporters, and those who are frustrated the University allowed Ayers to speak said they will not soon forget it.
"We do not support someone like that in our education system," said Citizens in Action member Donn Brown.
News Channel 18's cameras were not allowed inside for Ayers'
speech, which was titled "Inequality and Education: The
Challenge for Urban Schools."