Solicitors on campus cause student, public safety concern

Bunce Hall, on the campus of Rowan University. -Photo Editor/Amanda Palma

Over the past week, Rowan University’s Department of Public Safety received complaints from students about solicitors on campus. According to the rumors, students are approached by solicitors asking them about “God of Mother,” and asking them to attend a meeting.

One junior elementary education student was approached by a younger male and female months ago in a similar scenario, but thought nothing of it.

“I was walking to Savitz Hall from dorm duty [for my Admissions Ambassador job],” Madison Agostini said. “I told them I was working and they insisted to talk. They were reading from their Bible and trying to convince me that God was a mother.”

Agostini said they asked for her number. She instead provided a fake number and after made an excuse to leave.

Public Safety sent the student body an email informing students that the group is “not affiliated” with Rowan and its meetings are not held on university property.

However, some students expressed fear the scheme is associated with human trafficking.

Reed Layton, the senior director of Public Safety, dismissed the allegations made about the solicitors having affiliations with human trafficking. He said related social media posts and conversations from around the state have come together to form the rumor.

Layton also said the group of solicitors were contacted by law enforcement and are in the process of proving their innocence. According to Layton, the officers investigating the reports also have not yet found a cause for concern.

Other universities across the United States reported similar situations, such as students at Vanderbilt University and Kent State University. Kentwired reports, “Those going around talking about ‘God the Mother’ are believed to be a part of World Mission Society Church of God.” The church has several establishments in New Jersey.

As a public university, Rowan’s campus is open to outside groups and individuals.

“Always be cautious, know your surroundings and if you feel uncomfortable call [Public Safety],” Layton said.

Public Safety is continuing to investigate and monitor the situation.

Additional reporting by Matt Kass.

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