Monday, April 7, 2008

The Things We Think: Freaky Little Schools

Last weekend, blog roulette led me to discover Bob Jones University and Pensacola Christian College (PCC). I got there because in the course of Obama-news, I learned that inter-racial dating was formerly not allowed in BJU.

Further sleuthing led me to discover this page detailing BJU residence hall rules. While students are allowed to bring cars to campus, "underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) who are under 21 years old may use their vehicles only to drive home and for extension." What seems even more outrageous is that although BJU is a liberal arts school which offers undergraduate degrees in both 2- and 3-dimensional art, creative writing, dramatic production, radio and television broadcasting, and music, both church and instrumental, it has very rigorous rules against what its students are allowed to watch and listen to. The same site warns students that:

  • Music must be compatible with the University’s music standards:
    • New Age, jazz, rock, and country music is not permitted.
    • Contemporary Christian music is not permitted (e.g., Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman, WOW Worship, and so forth).
  • Televisions, DVD/videotape players and headphones are not permitted in the residence halls; computer DVD players may not be used to view movies.
  • You may not possess or play computer and video games rated T, M, A, or E10, or having elements of blood and gore, sensual or demonic themes, or featuring suggestive dress, bad language, or rock music.
  • Due to space considerations, appliances such as mini-refrigerators and microwaves are not permitted in residence hall rooms. A refrigerator and microwaves are provided in each residence hall.
  • Residence hall students may not watch videos above a G rating when visiting homes in town and may not attend movie theaters.
  • All weapons must be turned in for storage. Trigger locks are required for pistols. Fireworks are not permitted on campus.
On the other hand, it's good to know that weapons are allowed on campus, even if rock music isn't.

I also thought this dress restriction for BJU students was cute, naive and retaliatory:
Abercrombie & Fitch and its subsidiary Hollister have shown an unusual degree of antagonism to the name of Christ and an unusual display of wickedness in their promotions. In protest, we will not allow articles displaying their logos to be worn, carried, or displayed (even if covered or masked in some way).
Still, BJU has its defenders. It also seems so much milder than PCC. This site uploaded by a former PCC student details horrors worse than BJU. Women cannot wear jeans, only skirts or dresses. "
After bed-time ("lights out:" 11:00 every day, including weekends) students may receive demerits for talking, taking their contacts out, having their feet on the floor (or possibly suspended a few inches from the floor), being in the bathroom, or basically doing anything but lying in bed." No student is allowed to talk or otherwise interact with another student of the opposite sex outside of a "chaperoned" area, and physical contact of any kind, including hugging, tapping, and kissing can be grounds for expulsion. Worse, PCC, unlike BJU, is not an accredited school, despite having been founded in 1974.

A peep at the online forum for PCC alumni revealed that a lot of them regretted having gone to PCU but had to enroll there because their parents wanted them to go there and refused to pay for any other colleges. Granted, PCU is cheap! $1,575 tuition per semester, $1,675 room and board, and some $600 for miscellaneous fees! BJU, in comparison, "costs a little over half of the national average — $16,220 per year (room, board, & tuition)."

But still! Why spend all that time and money in an unaccredited school? Unaccredited schools are fine for people who want to teach homeschoolers, I suppose, or who have no plans of leveraging their degree to their advantage. But what if one wants to take up graduate studies in the future? An 18 year old may not know what he wants right now, but it's better not to close any doors to the future.

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