Tuesday, May 1, 2012

College is for Adults, Not Child-Students

Elizabeth Esther wrote a piece on the growing knowledge of the suppressive atmosphere at fundamentalist Christian schools like Bob Jones University.  In her article, she lists various rules and regulations and the disciplinary actions for breaking them, found in the BJU Student Handbook.

As you read through the list, you notice the petty nature of most of the bullet points.  Most of it has to do with outward appearance - how you look, dress, act, drink, eat, associate with others, spit, and even how to barf over a toilet bowl properly.  Ok, that last one isn't true, but judging from the nature of the rest of the handbook, I wouldn't even bat an eye had that been included, as well.

Nothing in these rules and regs has anything to do with assisting the student in learning.  Isn't that what college is for?  Don't we, as adult students going to college, expect to leave its hallowed doors, ready to attack the practical world with its hard knocks, using the book-learning from years of secondary education?  Why not prepare the child-students for this by treating them like adults!?

When I was in school, I would bristle whenever a professor took attendance.  I found this act quite invasive.  What did the college care if I paid them good money to attend a class and flunked out of it?  At least they got my money! I understand the professor had his reasons and most of them I agree with, but no way would I, an adult, have subjected myself to the sort of petty baloney sausage spewed forth in handbooks at Fundy U's across this great land.  How pathetic!

Students of Bob Jones University.  Leave now.  In fact, students of any college that requires you to act like a child in order to stay in good graces, leave now.  Go to a university or any secondary school that actually trusts you to find yourself and do what is right for YOU!  A college that provides tutors to assist you in becoming the excellent graduate you are capable of, is a much better choice than the institution that provides copious  hall monitors that make sure you stay 8.75 inches away from the opposite sex.  Finally, go to a college that is accredited, where the degree is worth something once you graduate.

I trust you.  Go make me proud.

And thank Elizabeth Esther for being one of the excellent voices that exposes this crap.


  1. Yes, yes, yes.

    I'm graduating highschool this year and there is no way I'd go to BJU, even though I'm a pretty conservative Christian.

    College is for adults. The students deserve to be treated like adults.

    Guidelines or a very small handful of common-sense rules are understandable, but this is way over the top.

  2. Wow, I read the linked article. I *cannot* believe that I almost went there. Instead, I opted to delay college and attend some courses at Bill Gothard's Indianapolis Training Center at age 19, even though my family was not involved in ATI. The one wardrobe rule at ITC that blew my mind the most was that I was not allowed to leave my room unless I was wearing nylons and closed toed shoes....not even to walk down the hallway on the all-girls floor!! WHAT. THE. HELL. I swear to God that Bill Gothard must have a serious foot fetish or something.

  3. Bill Gothard...the ladies man. LOL

    Regarding BJU, I can't get my mind around going anywhere that did not offer an accredited program in my area of study, why on earth waste the money?????

  4. At one point, I was working on a PhD in statistics/game theory.I enjoy both fields; I hated academia with a passion. My final year, I scored a teaching job at a well-respected university the next state over. A lot of people were jealous, which somehow convinced me that I was even cooler.

    I was miserable, of course. It required my to commute there on Thurs, teach a class Thu. night, sleep over, and teach two more classes Fri. morning & Fri af. But be assured I was *really* full of myself, even though I was really miserable. And other things.

    One thing we were required to do was take attendance. I thought it was silly, since, being full of myself, I thought I gave pretty interesting lectures, but I didn't want to make waves.

    About a month into the semester, a young lady came to me with an excuse so obscene (and sadly, legit) that I refused to ever attendance again. Ever.

    At the end of the year, my boss called me in, said some nice things about my student evaluations, and complimented me on the good (and entirely faked-after-the fact) attendance logs. "Thanks," I mumbled. "I think I give pretty interesting lectures."

    My contract was renewed, but by that time, my beloved spouse had been offered a postdoc down South. I cut my losses, moved with him, and enrolled in law school. The chairman called, worried, when I didn't come back in the fall and asked, "Why?" All I could do was utter, Blade-Runner style, "I want more LIFE!"

    Best decision I ever made. Also, likely Best Film Quote Ever Used When Quitting. Anyway, there's a moral in that story, just not sure what it is.