April 21, 2011 Volume CXXIX Issue 12

GC seeks Christian identity

By JONATHAN BALMER
Staff Writer

The 2011-2012 academic school year marks this institution’s 225th anniversary. On the brink of this anniversary, we look both to the past and future. Recently, surveys were sent by Campus’ Religious Life to ask questions pertaining to our attitude toward our College’s religious identity. Perhaps never before has this topic proven so relevant. Georgetown College is fast preparing to enter the crucible which will define its Christian identity—or lack thereof.

In both The Georgetonian and in casual conversation, I have read or heard Notre Dame or Centre identified as the colleges after which we should model ourselves. After all, Phi Beta Kappa membership dangles teasingly above Georgetown’s head. There are whispers of what it means to be a Christian college and what steps Georgetown must take to ensure it is academically reputable all with the silently, or subtly, spoken pretext that the college’s religious identity and academic credibility are somehow directly opposed. In short, the idea is we need to become a “sort-of” Christian college or not a Christian— identifying college at all, if we wish to further academic success. This is a false dichotomy.

A line is drawn between nominally or non-religiously minded colleges, which are frequently admirable, and those which are strangely religious and unworthy of emulation. If only it were so simple. What colleges are never called for comparison are academically reputable Christian colleges (some of which may even be more “conservative” than Georgetown— the horror!) who manage to be both committed to orthodox Christian values and excellent academic standards.

One example of an academically reputable and unapologetically Christian institution is Baylor University. Baylor is a Tier-1 school with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and top-notch academic programs ranking especially highly in science, business and law. This 2011 school year, Baylor received a record number of applications and alumni donations, representing its wide appeal. Baylor’s acceptance rate is roughly 42.5 percent, Georgetown’s is ~79.2 percent.

This academic esteem comes alongside the University’s commitment to faith. Its “2012 Unifying themes” affirming Christian faith receives more than lip-service in their focus: “For us, this dialogue between faith and intellect is not abstract or merely theoretical; rather, it reflects an existential commitment to the Lordship of Christ, so that life is understood as a stewardship divinely assigned and is intentionally lived out in service to humanity and the Kingdom of God.”

The “third way” is this: Georgetown College can be a Christian college which allows significant freedoms (including academic liberty, holding no mandatory chapel services, reasonable visitation hours and the absence of severe, nonacademic, behavior pledges) while providing opportunities for students to grow in faith if they so choose. All this the college may do while remaining singularly, but unoppressively, devoted to promoting the values, lifestyle and faith of Jesus even when unpopular—in its support of student organizations and initiatives.

Will we soil and mar Georgetown College’s foundation with the blood of the baby we threw out with the bathwater or will we find ways to be both hospitable to many views while remaining firmly, and solely, committed ideologically to this institution’s Christian heritage? It is up to us. We may uproot and dismantle totally what has been given to us because of a few minor flaws, or we can respect and adapt it, academically, for the future. Which is more important, effective and healthy? Think on it.


Student addresses Greek Week

Dear Editor, Georgetown College truly is a most agreeable place; however, this school is not exempt of problems. Something that causes a great amount of conflict and tension on this campus is the presence of Greek (and Roman) organizations. Do not misconstrue what I am saying to mean that I believe Greek Life to be detrimental to the community atmosphere on campus, nor am I saying that Greek Life is bad. In fact, the majority of my friends are ‘Greek,’ and almost all claim to have been positively transformed as result of affiliation with their respective organizations. However, what I am saying is that events such as Greek Week, although well-intended, do little to bring about “community,” which, according to a Greek woman on campus, is the stated purpose of Greek Week.

Admittedly, there are some fantastic things on the Greek Week schedule. Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a charity event; the blood drive, devos, canned food drive and community service project are also fantastic events which give back to the community. However, the ways some of these individual events are carried out are questionable. I understand these events are intended for those involved in Greek Life, hence the title Greek Week, but is it really so important that those participating in Bowl for Kids’ Sake be Greek? I only bring this up because this actually happened. I was informed by someone in Greek Life that I was not allowed to participate in Bowl for Kids’ Sake due to the fact that I am an Independent. Again I ask, is it truly that important that participants be Greek? Is the charity receiving the money from the fundraiser going to give back X% because it was an Independent who donated it? It appears that certain aspects of Greek Week present a sense of exclusivity.

On that note, there are a number of other things that accompany Greek Week festivities that are also not conducive to the desired community environment. For example: letter day. This is a day in which people represent their fraternity or sorority by proudly sporting their letters. Another example could be the CEP Greek Devos at Common Ground. Honestly, does Greek Devos really need to be a CEP? Also, consider the idea behind Greek Games and Pool Games. Each of these events are set up in such a way that each respective organization competes against the others. I may be misunderstanding, but it appears that competition between organizations would only bring about more strife than already exists. Perhaps, if community is the desired goal, there should be teams comprised of members from different organizations. That way, each organization would be more likely to cheer for the collective whole as opposed to their fraternity or sorority.

I would like to reiterate the fact that I am not saying that Greek Week is bad. It truly does provide services for the community that may not otherwise be given. I am merely proposing that the exclusivity and competitive nature of Greek Week does not bring about a sense of unity and community.

Sincerely,

Mason Head


Students debate visitation policy

By THOMAS HEARNE
Contributing Writer

It has recently been proposed that a 23-hour visitation be imposed on East Campus. While this is all good and fine, what about those of us on South Campus who are unable to live on East Campus due to financial or academic constraints? Should we be punished because we can’t make the grade? Wouldn’t it be easier to implement a campus-wide visitation, or better yet, do away with visitation requirements completely? We are all considered adults on this campus and are treated as such in the way our professors interact with us and in the way we interact with the school’s judicial system (usually). Just because a student spends the night with a member of the opposite sex doesn’t mean that he is evil or she is going to burn in hell. One could even go so far as to say that homosexuals get preferential treatment because they get to spend the night with their loved ones without fear of punishment simply because they are of the same sex. (I would like to note that I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against homosexuals; three of my good friends are homosexuals and are awesome people). Not being able to spend time with someone that you love, simply because some old, last-generation parent figures think it is immoral is completely wrong. This seems to go against the “Christian” values of this college, considering Christ wants us to love one another and show it (John 15:17).

The SGA met to discuss this very topic April 19. Here’s hoping that something is done about this problem. These times are a’ changin’, and the administration needs to catch up.

By TYNEKA MCDANIEL
Contributing Writer

There has recently been some discussion about making East Campus a 23-hour visitation residency. It’s a great idea. Moving to East Campus is built to push students into maturation in preparation for adulthood. For example, the meal plans are cut back and residency rates are higher than those on main campus. So, why not allow for students to have longer visitation hours? I don’t see any negative drawbacks to implementing this idea; in fact this could serve as a bonus to help the College fill more rooms on East Campus, thus giving the college more money. If I was not enriched by the work and life as a part of Res-Life I would move to East with my peers solely on the idea of the visitation change. I say go for it!

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