I mentioned the infamous Bob Jones University student handbook in an earlier post after explaining it was the school from which one of the extremist authors I was reading as part of a self-imposed cultural studies program graduated back in 1950. It was the university that famously insisted God didn’t want blacks intermingling with whites and refused to admit non-married black students until as late as 1975. It was ultimately money that changed their mind as the IRS revoked their tax exempt status, culminating in the 1983 Bob Jones University v. United States Supreme Court case.
My mother-in-law called while I was going through it and I summarized some of the handbook. She forbid me from ever sending her grandchildren there. I assured her that will not only never be a problem, they probably wouldn’t even let our future kids on the soil as their mere existence is problematic.
Are you ready? If you don’t feel like reading it yourself, let’s go through this! It’s unlike anything you’ve seen in the United States.
- First-year students need to be accompanied by another student who is 21 or older and of the same gender if going off campus after 8 p.m. for any purpose other than work. They can’t be trusted to go out into the world by themselves. [page 20]
- Male and female students cannot be alone in a classroom, rehearsal studio or other room. [page 22]
- Male students must obtain the dean’s approval to date a female day student or non-student. [page 25]
- The school reserves the right from forbidding any student from getting a job and working in the community. [page 26]
- Students cannot attend sporting events or paid events (presumably concerts or plays) on Sunday. [page 27]
- Students may not eat in a restaurant that has a tavern or bar-like reputation, atmosphere, or that does not section off the dining room from a live entertainment area. [page 27]
- Any music which, in whole or in part, derives from the following broadly defined genres or their sub-genres: Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, Electronic/ Techno, Rap/Hip Hop or the fusion of any of these genres is banned even if it is Christian. [page 29]
- Students may only view “G” rated movies in private. [page 29]
- Students may not play video games rated above E10 (games meant for 10 year olds and older) or a game that contains graphic blood, gore, sensual or demonic themes, violent first-person shooting, suggestive dress, bad language, or rock music. [page 30]
- The Internet on campus is filtered and censored, but if a site gets past the filter that is not approved by the authorities, you are to immediately report it. [page 30]
- Campus Internet activity is monitored and tracked. [page 30]
- You may not visit celebrity home pages on the Internet, or any site that contains secular music lyrics, or any joke/humor site. [page 30]
- Students with smart phones or tablets are not to use unfiltered Internet. [page 30]
- Students are forbidden to read magazines such as GQ, Men’s Fitness, ESPN, Esquire, or People, either in print or electronically.
- Gambling – which is defined as “risking the material provisions of God on chance – is prohibited. [page 31] I’m guessing that means they’ll never offer an actuarial undergraduate degree for budding insurance executives, which is just as well given that it requires math.
- Women must wear a neckline that is no lower than four fingers’ width below the collarbone. [page 32]
- You need to dress professionally and academically, which includes women wearing “Denim jackets” [page 33]. I’m trying not to laugh but I almost have tears streaming down my face. This is not 1980, nor is it a Bon Jovi music video.
- You need to dress appropriately after hours, too, which includes “Denim skirts or dresses”. [page 33]
- Tattoos are forbidden. [page 34]
- Only two matching ear piercings are acceptable. [page 34]
- Men are forbidden from wearing Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, including that manufactured for subsidiary Hollister, even if it otherwise complies. [page 35]
- Men working out are only allowed to wear sleeveless athletic shirts if they are exercising inside. [page 36]
- Hair color must be absolutely natural with no modification. [page 37]
- Hair length must be between off the collar and ears. [page 37]
- Fauxhawks are forbidden. [page 37]
- Sideburns cannot be lower than the opening of the ear. [page 37]
- Students must shave their faces every morning if they are under 25 years old. [page 37]
- Students must close the blinds to their dorms when night falls. [page 38]
- Residence hall rooms are checked at 11 a.m., Monday through Friday. [page 38]
- Residence hall students must turn off the lights and be in bed by midnight. [page 39]
- Residence hall students must stay inside of their room between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. [page 39]
- Day students taking 12 credit hours or more must attend chapel daily.
- A demerit system is used that includes docking points for “sacrilegious behavior” and “misuse of media”. [page 45]
- Student emails can be scanned and reviewed for objectionable content. [page 46]
- Student computers, mp3 players, cellphones, et cetera are subject to inspection. [page 47]
- The school can speak to the student’s parents at any time about anything involving the student. [page 47]
- Students may not join outside gyms for their fitness needs. [page 54]
- Students who get married at 20 years old or younger are not permitted to continue their education. [page 56]
- Students should watch out for “Scatological realism – pertaining to excretory functions” in media. [page 64]
- Students should judge media as appropriate by asking, “Does the story’s resolution reward good and punish evil or honor wisdom and scorn foolishness?” [page 65] I’m not sure how one would teach a history course if that’s the standard as a lot of bad people did just fine.
I have to understand the history of this place. I’m sure there is a decent biography out there. I need to understand the demographics (I’d bet money I can almost get within 10% of the median household income statistics and other sociological clues but I want to be certain). This is captivating and horrifying at the same time.
On the upshot, even though this is a recipe for cultural disaster and infantilism in a population that would make the founding fathers sick, they do have some talented students in the music department. I enjoyed this senior harp recital (with the exception of the violins at places like 1:25).