Students at Youngstown State University (YSU) were charged with emotion during an "end of the school year" rally on Friday.

They gathered in front of the Pollock House to protest YSU president Bill Johnson and his new rules for protesting on campus. The students pushed back on a policy they said lacks clarity and is anti-free speech.

The policy prohibits loud noises around academic buildings, offices and residence halls at all times.

Some students believe this rule was created to silence critics of Johnson.

Police officers stood at a distance surrounding the protesters as they exercised their first amendment rights. 

During the peaceful demonstration, a student read a letter from actor Ed O'Neill about his decision to return the honorary degree he received from the university in 2013.

As an outspoken critic of Bill Johnson's hiring, the actor and Youngstown native kept his promise and returned it to the students.

At the suggestion of O'Neill the degree was set on fire.

This act was another deliberate violation of Johnson's new policy which prohibits open flames during a protest. 

Students said the flame is lit and won't go out until Johnson leaves.