Students at religious colleges have an undeniably low percentage of unsavory incidents when compared to students attending secular colleges. Though there are many reasons why this might be the case, several stand out above the rest. First, in a general consensus, these young men and women have a genuine desire to attend these colleges for the very reason of avoiding the temptations of sex, alcohol, and drug use. These students have chosen to live their lives according to a standard that they believe is higher than that of man. In Riley’s article, “How Student Life is Different at Religious Colleges” the students that she interviewed admitted that while some felt unhappy with the “strange” environment at the start, by the end of their time they felt happier than they had been before.
Secondly, the discipline at these colleges is much different from those at the secular schools. The religious colleges choose to strictly monitor and enforce abstinence from sex as well as alcohol and drugs. While secular colleges do attempt to limit these last two items, they have such a loose policy that it runs rampant on the campuses. Christian colleges readily admit that the students on their campuses are not perfect and will occasionally make mistakes from time to time. In Riley’s article she relays how one girl was caught having an affair with a married man at a particularly strict school. Nevertheless from all appearances the administrations seem to keep all such extracurricular activity to a minimum.
Lastly, as with any school, the key to students’s happiness is in finding the right fit. In this case perhaps it might be in finding a school with stricter rules. At some Christian schools, dating is allowing but is more of a courtship. Chaperons are required to attend with every date and some schools forbid any touching between the opposite sex. Other schools allow touching such as kissing and hugging while still other schools forbid dating all together. Seemingly archaic, these rules clearly prevent much of the drama and chaos that is so prevalent on secular campuses today. These rules help create a more solid structure that enables the young minds of the students to focus more on knowledge and less on the many distractions of the world. In the end, these students probably end up with the better deal since they emerge from their college experience knowing how to form relationships without sex, knowing how to have fun without getting drunk every weekend, and can think clearly since they haven’t destroyed their brain cells by doing drugs.
Students at religious colleges seem to avoid the problems that students at secular colleges face because those students who attend religious colleges attend them because they want to lead a rewarding and religious lifestyle. Students at religious stay out of the headlines because they spend free time studying. They avoid issues because they are not in college to drink, do drugs, and have sexual relations.
Rules and discipline at religious colleges differ from those at secular institutions because they have strict policies on dating, drugs and alcohol. They also use the parents help on enforcing these policies governing the students. At secular colleges students seem to have more freedom than those at religious colleges.
The main common point between the rules on dating at Magdalen, Bob Jones University and Patrick Henry College is that they all have strict policies on sexual activity. It is not allowed at any of these schools. These schools differ in allowance of dating between students. Magdalen has a no dating policy. “The rule is actually against steady company keeping”. Patrick Henry College requires the student to get their parents’ permission before pursuing a romantic relationship. Bob Jones University requires chaperones for all dates.
These rules achieve that once students graduate from college they will have a better understanding of relationships and marriage. They also relieve the students of sexual pressures that students at secular colleges face.
Students who attend religious colleges encounter the same challenges and opportunities as those who attend secular schools, however the fundamental difference is the sense of community on campus. Most large colleges have a variety of different values, beliefs, and predjudices present on campus at all times. However, religious schools such as Christian Colleges generally tend to experience a common connection between all of the students on campus, that being their faith in Jesus Christ. Secular schools usually don’t offer educational courses on religious studies, and if they do it is outside of the classroom and optional for those students who may be interested. Religious schools however, incorporate these discussions of faith into the curriculum so that it is an obvious part of campus.
Students will make poor decisions whether attending a secular or a religious school, however I believe religious colleges tend to have fewer troubles on campus because of the constant reminder of ethics and morals that comes along with most religious studies. Another factor to consider is the weight of the consequences of the offender’s actions. In a secular school, students can be reprimanded by teachers for minor infringements and major infringements which usually refer to violent or criminal acts and things such as plaigerism, can be punishable by suspension or expulsion. The fundamental difference in discipline between secular and religious schools is what constitutes a minor or major infraction. What would be considered commonplace behavior in a secular school, such as chewing gum or inappropriate language, could be labeled a major infringement at a religious school. This sets the bar for the way religious students act, and lowers the chance of religious schools facing the same troubles that keep secular schools in the headlines.
Another fundamental difference between the rules of a religious school and those of a secular school are the policies on dating. A secular school would probably never be able to actually enforce such policies, however religious colleges such as Bob Jones University enforce such rules as banning interracial dating between students. At Patrick Henry College, campus officials encourage “courting” instead of dating in which a young man is supposed to reach out to a young woman’s father in order to recieve his permission for them to date. At Magdalen College, students are prohibited from dating all together. These rules serve as a way to better control students, and in doing so they achieve in lowering the problems that many secular schools face.
I believe that even though these rules that religious schools enforce are successfully lowering troubles on campus, however they are probably successfully lowering other things on campus such as interest in current events and diverse opinions and beliefs that encourage secular schools to thrive while giving their students room to grow and progess.
Religious students who attend these religious schools tend to stay out of trouble and make better decisions than a student who attend a regular university. Having religious views gives you good morals to follow. It allows you to make good decisions and be a well rounded person. When going to a religious college, they encourage you to be the best person you can be. They try to steer you in the right direction without making bad decisions to get there. These students also don’t want to break the rules; they want to set a good example when attending these colleges. This really does help keep students from keeping far away from trouble.
In secular schools students are more likely to make bad decisions such as getting into drugs, alcohol, and sexual behaviors. People who go to a religious school don’t really have a choice, there are set rules when coming to discipline. Students who choose to go to these schools also tend to stay away from trouble. They chose the religious school to not be surrounded by bad decisions. The rules of a religious college have a tendency to be stricter than the rules of a secular college. At religious schools the teachers act as a mentor and are tough on the students. If the students do something wrong such as drugs or sexual behaviors they have a greater chance of being worried and getting in trouble compared to a student who went to a secular school. Overall students at religious schools have more help and counseling which is why they tend to behave better than the secular school students.
When going to religious colleges there are many dating rules. At Magdalen they are very strict when it comes to making and regulating rules. They have to walk around the campus carrying an extra pair of clean shoes for when they go inside. They are made to do this because it keeps the floors on the inside of these colleges clean. The students are the ones who do all the cleaning so they make sure they keep the floors clean to avoid messier cleanups. The students at this college also are seated in different spots every day; they do this to decrease the formation of cliques. There are strict rules within the dorm rooms. They must keep their rooms clean with nothing on the desks and dressers and paintings and art are forbidden on the walls. They also have a no dating rule and need to have all lights off by 10:30 on the dot. The no dating rule seems odd to me. Some students believe in the no dating rule, and one female said she has formed strong bonds with males that she never thought she was capable of because of this rule being enforced. Others say they have a better chance of having a well rounded marriage due to this rule. At Bob Jones University males and females are forbidden to have any kind of physical contact or attraction for that matter. If students date, they are required to have a chaperone. The school can do their best to help avoid students from having sexual relations, but it may not always work out the way they had planned. Lastly at Patrick Henry College they also have strict rules when it comes to dating. They make the students get their parents’ permission before dating.
Overall some of these rules are achieved by what the colleges are aiming for. It’s all in the way they enforce the rules along with the discipline. Some of the colleges greatly succeeded with their strict rules. Others were still up in the air because they weren’t as hard on the students as others. Some colleges said “where there’s a will, there’s a way”; as if they can’t do anything about the student’s behavior and that it’s all up to the students. I feel that it all depends on how they enforce their rules, and they will get the results according to how they enforce them.
Reasons why religious college students generally seem to avoid the kind of trouble that puts secular campuses in the headlines are for the schools over all strong religious morals that they stand by. The schools who are against the alcohol, drugs, sexual activity and violence that standard college’s are known for. More and more secular college’s allow the student body to rule on whether they make certain dormitories co-ed. This is so the schools administrators won’t question the students sexual orientation, also allows heterosexual couples to live together. Religious college students are happy to be away from the peer pressures and temptations that they would have gotten at secular schools for having particular religious beliefs. The students that attend religious colleges are happy to the there around other peers who share the same principles and values. The parents of these students allow the school to act on their behalf “Loco Parentis”.
Discipline in religious colleges take a religious approach. They help the student from making the mistake a second time finding out why he/she made the error, but still holding them accountable for what they did wrong. This is more affective than just giving them the boot. In religious colleges staff will attempt to work the issue out with a bishop as an advocate, noting that people are human are sinners and tend to make mistakes. This first step helps to avoid going to the administrators. I would be much happier to sit and spend time with counselors discussing my bad behaviors rather than being handed an expulsion slip without being allowed a chance in select instances.
The dating rules at Patrick Henry College require the students to their parents’ permission before pursuing a romantic relationship, and Bob Jones University require chaperones for all their dates. Magdalen, which has the strictest dating policy-no dating is allowed, they are against “steady company keeping”. As well at Magdalen is the rotational seating they have during meals which stops cliques from forming.What this achieves is it allows these students to form a health relationship and bond with those of the opposite sex without the fear of peer pressures some would normally have in the secular schooling. Many of the christian faith schools are advocates for the students to hold off any romantic relationships until they are absolutely ready for marriage. As for dating at Brigham Young University, it’s not uncommon to find couples holding hands or making out during “fireside” talks. Students are seen with their arms around one another , where the school is against premarital sex is taken serious, the rules of enforcement is left primarily through the peers. As I see it, many students may feel that being a virgin in their early 20’s may seem socially unacceptable by todays standards can been seen as a strong piece of ones character to another to which I am admirable for.
The majority of students attending a religious school have made the choice to attend these colleges knowing the high morals and standards that will be expecting of them. By choosing one of these colleges, the student has already committed to the behavior expected, which is to avoid alcohol or drug use and discourages intimate relationships. In addition to understanding the clear guidelines set , these students have a very strong faith which guides them.
During their time at these colleges, if there is a poor judgement made by them andwhich goes against the policies, the students are encouraged to confess after much self reflection, discuss why this occurred, and through counseling decide on an appropriate punishment. The consequences of the act are basically left to the individual to process with the guidance of the faculty and spiritual leaders.
There are a variety of policies throughout the many different education establishments. In terms of dating / personal relationships there is always a policy in which relationships are considered to be far from a priority. For example, Magdalen does not allow dating, they are strongly against steady company keeping, and students often marry shortly after graduation. Bob Jones University does not allow any kind of physical contact and requires a chaperon on any date. Patrick Henry requires that there is parental permission before any romantic relationship is pursued. These three examples show an aspect of religious schools that can be very important to an individual. They know ahead of time that they will be meeting people of the same mind set , who will also adhere to the same policies. There will not be any rush to be “in” a relationship, and getting to know a person can be a much more casual and relaxed process.
Choosing this type of college reflects not only what an individual has decided to study, but also the way they desire to live their life.
Religious schools often enjoy a relatively low incident rates, and there are many reasons for this. The major reason for this seems to be the support structure. An infraction will result in discipline, but the difference is that there is a peer pressure to do right as well. Another reason for this can be attributed to the religious cultures that attend such schools. Many of who are law abiding, upstanding citizens who hold conservative reservations about experimentation. The discipline process is also a huge improvement over secular campuses, because religious schools try to teach why something was wrong and have a priest or bishop doing the counseling. They also involve parents in the disciplinary process; giving even more pressure to conform to the rules. I do not know anyone who would willingly upset a holy man. Schools like Magdalen, Bob Jones University, and Patrick Henry College have taken a hard line approach to dating on their campuses. Magdalen outlaws dating, while Bob Jones and Patrick Henry Colleges require parental permission. These rules establish a control to help prevent sin, but more importantly teen pregnancy, campus STD’s, and they help to develop a person’s character. It is much easier to develop these personal attributes when you are not too busy working on a relationship. As a former catholic school student I feel that Religious school’s best ability is promoting conformity. This give a better environment for learning by removing many of the distractions young adults face and also reduce the forming of bad adult habits.
Religious colleges tend to have students who get into less trouble than secular college students because the students at a religious school have faith to help keep them out of trouble. Their faith allows them a way of associating with their peers which is healthy and innocent. In secular schools students are more likely to pick up bad habits like drinking and drug use to form bonds with their peers. Also, most students who go to a religious school have chosen to do so because they want to be in an atmosphere which has less pressure to perform immoral and unintelligible acts. In secular schools peer pressure tends to involve drinking, drugs and sex; while in religious schools peer pressure is to do things that are morally correct. Also according to an article titled Secular Vs. Christian College written by Andrew Call “Christian colleges tend to have smaller student bodies, decreasing the chance of a student simply becoming lost in the crowd. A smaller college also offers a greater chance to participate in extracurricular activities, providing more opportunities to meet others and expand one’s circle of friends.”
The disciplinary differences between secular and religious schools contribute to religious school students being less likely to be involved in trouble. The rules at a religious college tend to be stricter than those at a secular school. There is more emphasis on not allowing immoral activity of any kind for both disciplinary reasons and religious reasons. Students not only feel pressure from their peers, but also have many mentors available to them such as pastors, rabbis, or their teachers who they do not want to disappoint. Think about being a student in a secular school and having sex, would you be worried about your teacher finding out? Chances are probably not. Although, that is different for students who attend religious schools, they would fear their teacher knowing that they were unfaithful and their teacher is also more of a mentor. The teacher at a religious school would probably feel the need to confront the student and would offer counseling to them, while at a secular school a teacher would think it none of their business to be involved in a students’ sexual affairs. Students at religious schools over all have much more counseling available to them and participate in it much more than students at secular schools do.
From the reading How Student life is Different at Religious Colleges by Naomi Schaefer Riley in Seeing Ourselves, at Bob Jones University women and men are not allowed any kind of physical contact. The school’s rules may be strict enough to minimize such incidents, but as most administrators will tell you where there’s a will there’s a way. They also require that students have chaperones for all dates.
Another school from the reading is Magdalen. Magdalen is a small catholic school where seats are assigned differently each day at meal periods to avoid cliques. Their rooms must be kept neat with no mess on the dressers or desks and no art work or decorations on the walls. They must always carry with them a clean pair of shoes so each time they enter a building they can put them on and avoid getting the floors dirty. They say the students follow the rule well because they are the ones who do most of the cleaning on campus. They have a 10:30 pm lights out policy. At Magdalen they also have a no dating rule called a rule against “steady companion keeping”. One student there said that the rule made it easier for her to be friends with other male students because she could sit next to them and not have other people think that they were dating or have the male feel like she is trying to be possessive of him. Some students there feel it makes it easier to get to know someone. Many of the students from Magdalen do get married shortly after graduation. A senior student Nancy Carlin says she believes that not dating gives people a better chance of having a solid marriage by not having a relationship based on self-gratification.
Another school from the reading is Patrick Henry College. There they have a strict rule that students must get their parents’ permission before dating someone. All of the schools the author visited have rules against public displays of affection. At one school, Thomas Aquinas, the administration says that publicly displaying affection is harmful to the formation of a community. One of the former students from Magdalen who is now a professor there said that all the organization he experienced as a student helped to build character. All of the rules that religious schools have that secular schools don’t may help students learn to live a more organized and disciplined life style. With all the rules against dating and public displays of affection you would think that religious schools would not have the latent function of most colleges where students are finding their mates. Just like in secular schools students still find mates, they just usually get married after school instead of dating while in school.
Blog discussion 7 Religious Colleges
This blog discussion is based on chapter 56 of the book Seeing Ourselves, the article “How Student Life is Different at Religious Colleges” by Naomi Schaefer Riley
Answer and discuss the following questions: Discuss the reasons why religious college students generally seem to avoid the kind of trouble that puts secular campuses in the headlines. Explain how discipline at religious schools differs from secular institutions. Compare and contrast the rules on dating at Magdalen, Bob Jones University, and Patrick Henry College. What do these rules achieve?
The students who are assigned to answer these questions are asked to do an original posts and comment on the posts of another student. Other students may comment on these posts. The instructions for these discussions are found on the class Moodle site.