KENNESAW, Ga. -- Students at Kennesaw State University are protesting after reports that Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens is set to take over as president.
Last week, neither Olens, KSU nor the board of regents commented about the potential hire. That didn't stop students from raising their voices in opposition to the possibility.
Olens defended Georgia's gay marriage ban and sued the federal government over the transgender bathroom directive. That's why students organized Monday afternoon's protest and drafted a petition that has more than 5,000 signatures.
In the petition, students ask the Georgia Board of Regents to not appoint Olens as KSU's next president.One student, who wouldn't give 11Alive his name, said he's disappointed.
"The support groups would probably be disbanded and not to mention the scholarships that are offered
for people active in LGBT rights," he said
After the rally ended, he stayed around to continue the protest.
"I feel it's my duty. I'm a student here and I have to make sure the school is safe for me and students. If this place becomes unsafe, I'd have to leave," he said.
Photos | Kennesaw State University student protest
School officials sent an email out to students, faculty and staff on the same day of the protests notifying them that Olens was being "seriously considered for the role of president." A student shared a copy of the letter with 11Alive, which you can read in its entirety below.
In the letter from the Office of the President, Chancellor Hank Huckaby clarified that the Board of Regents committee was planning to conduct a national search to find the university's next president. But after "earnest conversations" with Olens, the chancellor said "I now believe he should be considered at this time." Huckaby said the university is planning to interview Olens on Tuesday.
Huckaby went on to thank the students and staff for "thoughtfully enduring significant changes in the leadership" at the school over the last two years, and asked for everyone to continue with their work, studies and responsibilities.