Sam Pilkington, one of my top AP history students fired an e-mail at me today about the college letter of recommendation I finished writing for her a few weeks ago. I recall telling students that I do not write bad letters; however, I will hint to a student if I think he or she will receive a stronger letter from another teacher (poor students only). With that stated, I will not write a college letter of recommendation for a student applying to either Bob Jones University or Pensacola Christian College. I have a number of problems with both institutions and have no desire to see my BEST attend such places. Note: My problem with the two has more to do with their narrow-minded ideological construction and anti-intellectual religious jargon. Moreover, it has nothing to do with the silly rules they force on their students. By the way, I am enjoying my week so far at TCU. The European history institute I am conducting here in Fort Worth is always great — thanks to those who attend. I got the information below from the Political Cartel:
When considering attending Pensacola Christian College, it is important to know that they have rules. Rules. Rules. Rules. They have rules to govern every area of your life. Just like the Bible, only more. Evidently, the Bible did not cover some areas, so the School Administrators have picked up the slack.This list is a work in progress, and it is intended to supplement (supplant?) the Student Handbook. It will never be complete, as PCC adds rules at the rate of about two or three a week. Some obscure or old rules go unenforced, while others may be enforced sporadically. It is evidently up to the student to intrepret which rules the school actually cares about; however, in our college experience, a rule was never repealed during the school year.
While attending PCC, the number one measurement of your spiritual condition will be how well you obey the rules, and secondly, how much you turn in others who don’t obey the rules.
Pensacola Christian College has developed an elaborate bureaucracy for dealing with all offenses, which has absolutely no Biblical precedent. Whereas God, in His infinite wisdom, created a system where sin had natural consequences, PCC prefers the more immediate system of demerits, socialling, and campusing. This is probably just as well, for their sake, as most of the rules are not sin. This brings up another issue – that of “spending demerits.”
Under God’s law, sin is sin, and even the tiniest of them sent Christ to the cross. At PCC, this distinction is blurred, as some offenses are considered sin (e.g. listening to “pop” music), while others (e.g. failing to clean your mirror during room check) are not. Also, in specific cases of obtaining a weekend pass where you will miss a required activity, the school allows it and simply gives you 10 or 25 demerits in advance, much like a business transaction. This certainly could not be sin. Therefore, the question of whether it is allowable (i.e. not actual sin) to “spend demerits,” (to willfully disobey a rule with the expectation of receiving the demerits due) is raised. The school allows it in some cases, doesn’t care in others, and denounces it generally. As a student at PCC, you will have to discern individually which rules the administration believes should never be broken, and which are okay to break if you are willing to accept the demerits. Obviously, this is an awkward situation, but the school has found it to be “reasonable,” and we would like to assume they have actually thought it through.
Types of Punishment:
Demerits. The basic unit of punishment. Acquiring a demerit MAY be wrong (i.e. sin) or it might not be, as explained above. Accumulation of 75, 100, or 125 of these will result in “campusing.” 150 will result in possible expulsion at PCC’s discretion.
Campusing. The student is, in effect, “grounded,” for a period of time, usually no shorter than a week. This means he may not leave campus except for preapproved reasons such as work. He will also be required to turn in the keys to any car registered to him.
He also must sign a statement saying he will have no communication (verbal or not) with another campused student. If a person in his room is already campused, he is required to change rooms, and will not change back after the campusing ends.
Socialling. While socialled, a student may have no communication with another student of the opposite sex except in in classroom or preapproved situations.
Expulsion. This is removal from the school. Usually the student is forced to “withdraw.” All cases are under the discretion of the administration. It must be noted a student may be expelled at any time for any reason. It need not have anything to do with accumulation of demerits, an explicit act, or wrongdoing of any type. Lest you think otherwise, people from freshman to seniors are kicked-out each year without ever being given a specific reason.
Shadowing. Though not a specific punishment, it often accompanies the above disciplines. Shadowing is when a student is made to accompany a floor-leader or other PCC staff member 24 hours a day. He will sleep in the floor-leaders room, attend his classes (or sit in the dean’s office) and eat all meals with him. The student is allowed no interaction with any other student, with limited access to those outside the school (e.g. parents). The student is shadowed from the time he has been accused or suspected of a “serious” infraction until he is exonerated or punished. There is an implied “presumption of guilt.” Any student is vulnerable to having his life severely interrupted, possibly suffering exceptional emotional and spiritual distress as he is isolated, pressured, and scared, being made to feel guilty even when there is no reason.
It has been suggested that the rationale for this practice is to keep down rumors and “protect” the student body from this corrupt student. This is terrible justification and further illustrates how the administration does not want or does not believe its student body can think for themselves.
There is no mention of the shadowing policy in any material made available to the students or their parents.
The Student Voice finds PCC’s policy of shadowing to be completely immoral. It has been reported to us than the school claims that shadowing does not happen very often. This is a lie. Shadowing goes on weekly and probably daily. This policy must end, and we encourage all concerned parties to express there disgust to the PCC administration
Much could be said of treating Christian adults this way. Obviously, it is not the way Christ thought most effective, and so much of it is actually counter-productive in instilling an actual heart change. It is so difficult for the school to trust the often slow work of the Holy Spirit, to bring conviction and repentance, and to conform His children to Christ, that PCC much prefers this more base and immediate system of correction.
THE RULES.No demerit amount is listed for the infractions since the school basically gives you as many demerits as they want for whatever the infraction, perhaps tacking on “improper procedure” or some such nebulous infraction.
Any rules enclosed in quotation marks are taken verbatim from an official PCC proclamation (usually a hall meeting announcement).
While the Student Handbook states that it does not want its students to feel the need for an expensive wardrobe, it goes on to require such an array of clothing that invariably any new student must go spend hundreds of dollars for clothes to fit its “standards.”
Announced Spring semester, 1997, the administration has instated more progressive dress code rules. This is evidentally to combat their ignorant interpretation of “the grunge look.” Pants are not allowed to be “too” baggy. Shoe syles are more restrictive, and fashions and patterns will fall under the discretion of the school.
Pants may not be “pegged” or have any pockets on the legs.
Pants may not be “frayed” at the bottom.
No jeans, or double-stitched pants.
Shirts must be tucked in at all times.
Men may not wear a necklace.
Hats may only be worn outdoors, but NOT at outdoor sporting events.
You must wear a belt at all times.
You must wear “dress” shoes except when involved in athletic activity.
You must wear a collared shirt except when involved in athletic activity.
No apparel with other colleges or high-schools is allowed.
T-shirts must be blank or be an official PCC T-shirt.
You may not shave your head (Caucasian students only; it is unclear how this is to be interpreted for Asian-Americans/Indian-Americans. All we can suggest is to consult your floorleader). Violation will result in being sent home for two weeks (your expense).
“Shelf Cuts,” hair touching the ears, sideburns past the middle of the ear, bangs over the eyes, and hair touching the collar are not allowed.
No blue-jean (denim) shirts or jackets.
No “dressing down” – that is, intentionally mismatching clothes.
Clothing may not have advertising or large logos on it.
You must wear socks.
Except for collegian sports, men must wear “dress sweats” for any athletic activity where women are present.
A swimming suit/shorts may not be worn while traveling to the beach, although there are no changing rooms at the men’s required beach.
For White Glove weekend: “Men may wear jeans and collared shirts to breakfast this Saturday, [date of white glove], because of White Glove. Stone washed or acid washed denim should not be worn. Students must change immediately after breakfast.”
Multi-colored polo shirts and khakis are acceptable “afternoon” dress (see the “Who’s Who” section of the latest yearbook for examples); note, though, that this also applies to Saturday mornings, in which case the morning is converted to “afternoon” for clothing purposes. Sunday afternoon, though, is not “afternoon” for clothing purposes.
You may not allow the end of your belt to hang down from the belt-loops resembling a phallus.
Women must wear a skirt or dress at all times. Jean skirts are allowed at dating outings only. Long shorts (i.e., “gauchos” or “culottes”) which reach the knee are permitted for athletic activity.
Skirts/Dresses must reach the top of the knee when sitting.
Women must wear nylons (“hose”) with skirts, but may wear socks with shorts.
You may not wear pants in your dorm, although sweats ARE permitted after prayer group.
All skirts must be knee length and shirts must not be subjectively “low-cut.”
No two-piece swimming suits (although, this is a bit irrelevant since a male should never see you swimming).
All neck lines must be modest.
No backless shoes or dresses.
Flannel shirts must be tucked in.
It should be noted that at any time, the administration (or students authorized by the administration) may go through your room, unannounced, looking for anything unauthorized. Legally or not, this will include opening drawers and going through paperwork. You may or may not be present, and you may or may not be notified.
Your room must be cleaned to a subjective degree every morning for room check.
If you are still in bed you may receive demerits for not having your bed made (although it is acceptable to make your bed, go back to sleep on top of the made bed while your floorleader is checking room jobs, and then crawl back under the covers after the floorleader exits the room. However, you must wait until the floorleader crosses the threshold before actually beginning to “crawl” back under the covers).
On weekdays, there are “quiet hours,” during which you may not talk in the hall, close doors loudly, or sing in the shower.
After bed-time (“lights out:” 11:00 every day, including weekends) you may receive demerits for talking, taking your contacts out, having your 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 local calls over 30 minutes.
No extra studying during exams.
No lights, computers, stereos, or other appliances left on when the room is empty.
Wall decorations (posters, etc) must be hung by pinning them from string to the corner of the wall and ceiling. There is no officially approved adhesive or “sticky tack.”
You may not have: television, personal stereo (walkman), microwave, fans, skillets, hot plate, coffee pot, electric blanket, extra furniture, or a living pet (also presumably includes a “dead” pet – not clear whether this includes pet rocks or plants) of any kind.
Hot pots and popcorn poppers must be used in the laundry room.
Liquid bleach and oven cleaner may not be used to clean.
Any unused mattresses in a room must be covered with sheets, apparently provided by you.
You may not put up a picture of unmarried people in physical contact unless they are “little kids.” (these are sold in the bookstore).
You must wear a shirt in the halls (men and women) and may not wear shorts in the lounges at any time.
You may not go bare-foot in the halls or lounge.
You may not sing “too loud” during prayer group.
The blinds in your room must be closed after dusk.
You may not open your window.
You may not adjust your thermostat.
You may not wipe “boogers” on the wall. This is being cracked down on.
OFF CAMPUS RULES:
As stated in the Student Handbook, leaving campus is a “privilege;” one which the administration will revoke as they see fit.
Students must return to campus by 10:00 p.m. every night, including weekends.
A student must “scan out” at the campus computers, notifying the school of exactly where he intends to go off-campus.
If the intended destination is not listed on the computer, the student must obtain a permission pass from various staff at designated times. This is also applicable if you wish to leave campus on a Sunday.
You may not go to Cordova Mall after 5:00 p.m.
There are a myriad of restaurants the students are not allowed to go to, although faculty and staff frequent them (more specifics on campus).
Freshmen/Sophomore women must leave campus in groups of three or more. Junior/Senior women, in groups of 2.
No more than twenty students may meet off-campus without specific permission.
Males and Females are to use separate public beaches and may not go to the popular Pensacola Beach or to the nearby Boardwalk.
You may not go to a public library.
You may not go onto the campus of any other college in the Pensacola area.
Women are not allowed to hold off campus jobs. (All school jobs during the year pay minimum wage or below)
A large amount of magazines are considered pornography and are not allowed, including: Men’s Health, Muscle&Fitness, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, etc.
The Publishers Clearing House contest application has a sticker for Playboy and is not allowed
The BMG or Columbia House music club catalogs are not allowed
Music is limited to classical, hymns, accepted “new age” and instrumental, and that distinctive “PCC sound.”
No “paraphenelia” (posters, books, stickers, etc) associated with “non-passing” media is allowed in your dorm, on your person, or in your car.
You may recieve demerits for having your radio tuned to a “non-passing” radio station, even if you have not touched the dial since you were home.
No student is allowed to talk or otherwise interact with another student of the opposite sex outside of a “chaperoned” area. It does not matter if they are alone or among hundreds of students if it is not an “official” chaperoned area.
FOR INSTANCE, consider these. . . .
1.) “This is a reminder that the hallway in front of the Field House is an unchaperoned area. Couples may walk through the area during the daytime, Monday-Friday, but may not loiter.”
2.) “This is a reminder that the social hours [chaperoned hours] in the Commons Plaza are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. or dusk (whichever comes first) Monday through Saturday, and 12:15 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.”
3.) “The Academic mall areas are unchaperoned areas in the evening. Students taking evening classes should socialize in the classrooms only.”
You may not interact with a student of the opposite sex in any way off-campus without prior approval and an approved chaperone.
Men may not give their suit jacket to their date.
Each gender must use segregated stairways, elevators and in some cases, sidewalks.
There is to be no physical contact between students of the opposite sex, except perhaps on some “dating outings,” where hand-holding games are played.
The official rule on “indirect contact” is unknown. It is much talked about, but unevenly enforced. This includes such things as tugging on a coat, poking with a pencil, etc.
Siblings of the opposite sex should not interact in unchaperoned areas to abstain from the “appearance of evil.”
“It is proper, although not required, for a young man to give a corsage to his date and for a young lady to give a boutonniere. It is not appropriate for plants, fruit, stuffed animals, and other such items to be brought to Fine Arts programs.”
There is to be NO. . .
Chewing gum indoors (in certain buildings).
Sleeping in church.
Having more than 8 people at a table in the Varsity Commons.
Eating food purchased off-campus in a public area.
Walking on the grass or landscape.
Wearing face paint at Greek Rush.
Selling anything in the dorms.
Violent, “occult,” or “lewd” computer games.
Covering your Photo ID picture in any way.
Playing of instruments (of any kind) in your room, or outside. The only place to play on campus is in the practice rooms.
Possession of an electric guitar or amplifier.
Taking part in a collegian meeting other than your own.
Automotive repair on campus.
Horseplay. This is completely subjective and can be for anything from loudness to throwing a pillow.
“Indirect Horseplay.” This appears to be watching “horseplay” from a distance without doing anything to stop it/being entertained by it.
“Flipping.” This involves flipping the empty offering plate as you pass it; it may be considered a disruption of the service.
Turning in another student’s attendance card.
Disrespect or “bad attitude.”
Using another person’s automobile.
Lying or any form of deception (widely interpreted and applicable only to students).
Unauthorized possession of a weapon.
“Obscene” language. This includes the terms “suck” or “sucks.”
Attendance at a movie theater or unapproved concert/event.
Visiting Pensacola Junior College or the Unversity of West Florida.
Disrupting a public gathering or function.
Possession or use of tobacco/alcohol/controlled substances (includes glue).
Duplicating keys (for those of you who brought down your key-duplicator machine).
Assault or attempted assault.
Gambling (or possession of standard playing cards).
Involvement in any occultic activity.
“Cracking” the communion cups.
Participating in unauthorized protest, petition, or riot.
Writing or distributing unauthorized literature.
All music, speaking, skits, or public/semi-public performances of any kind must be passed by the administration. This includes collegian meetings, Sunday school, Student Body, etc.
You must follow all usher instructions.
“Students are to walk to activities at the Academy, Print Shop, Awana, Youth Group, and Collegian meetings. Anyone needing to drive should get it approved a head [sic] of time with the Dean of Men’s Office.”
Finally there is IMPROPER PROCEDURE, which is a catch-all for anything you do which they don’t want you to do, but hadn’t thought of making it a rule yet.