"Exterior of the Jerry Falwell Library at Liberty University" by PCHS-NJROTC / CC BY-SA 4.0

An Arrest Warrant From Liberty University, for Me

Jun 12, 2020

By Julia Rendleman

It was the end of March, and I had just put my two boys to bed. My phone was ringing in my pocket, but I didn’t care who it was — we were two and a half weeks into quarantine and the new reality was sinking in.

The person on the phone was calling to warn me: The police for Liberty University, the private evangelical college in southern Virginia, had gone to the authorities and had a warrant for my arrest for trespassing.

I am a freelance photographer for The New York Times, and I had recently taken pictures for an article about the decision by Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, to keep the school partially open during the growing Covid-19 pandemic.

Liberty asserted that they had recently changed policies and only staff, students and those conducting “University business” were permitted on campus.

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