Local hip-hop poet Louis Navarro, also known as “Sin Seven,” was denied involvement in Open Mic Night at the Backdoor Playhouse Sept. 13 because of a prior trespass warning.
“Louis Navarro is a friend of mine,” Andy Smith, professor and Open Mic Night host, said. “I like his poetry, and he’s a staple at our Open Mic Nights.”
Navarro was issued a trespassing warning for sleeping in campus buildings. According to campus police, that is the reason why he was denied involvement in the event.
“I slept there because it was freaking cold that night, snow coming down,” Navarro said. “I had nowhere to go so, you know, I slept in the library.”
Gay Shepard, campus police chief, said Navarro, as a non-student, had no reason to be in the building.
“I don’t care what he was doing,” Shepard said. “He didn’t have any business in there.”
An email distributed among the department of English and communications warned that Navarro was posing as a “TTU affiliated person” after he attended a DJ training class conducted by WTTU Sept. 11, a class open only to Tech students, faculty and staff.
“I could have sworn that I read on the website that it was open to the public,” Navarro said.
“That it was volunteer and anyone could volunteer. After the class I read it again and realized I had to be a student, so I figured I’d register for a class, so I can be a DJ. But how can I register for a class if I’m banned from campus? It is kind of like denying my education.”
According to the email, Navarro was linked to several crimes on campus, including theft.
“That’s defamation of character right there,” Navarro said. “The way I look at it is, yeah I slept in a classroom, but it wasn’t like I slept in a classroom because I wanted to steal a computer. People can look me up. I’ve never been arrested for a crime.”
Shepard said the event has been exaggerated. Despite rumors from the email, Shepard said, “There is not a warrant, and it was only a trespassing warning, total misconception.”
Smith said Navarro is affiliated with the campus because he previously had Navarro read poetry to his English classes.
Smith also questioned why Navarro was not permitted at Open Mic Night, while evangelists were permitted to preach on South Patio last week.
“When we were told that we should call the police if he showed up at Open Mic Night, we were all a little shocked,” Smith said. “I find it ironic that someone can come here and yell at Tech students and tell them they’re all going to hell, but the First Amendment and his lawyers protected his right to do that, but ‘Sin Seven’ doesn’t have the rights to perform at a public Open Mic that is open to campus and non-campus.”
The trespassing warning issued to Navarro prevents him from being permitted on campus, even for events open to the public.
For more information about campus crime, visit tntechoracle.com or tntech.edu/police/campuscrime.