Thursday, April 24, 2014

Students discuss policies

Dean Keith Anderson met with students in DeMoss Hall 1113 for the Student Body Hall Meeting, Tuesday, April 9.

In the meeting, students’ concerns were addressed and many questions answered. According to Anderson, Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. and the Board of Trustees agreed to review the university’s current attendance policy, one of the major concerns voiced.

Anderson began the meeting with prayer. Afterward, Senior Student Conduct Officer Andrea Adams made the announcements and stated the rules of the meeting, which included the rule that no students were allowed to debate with Dean Anderson or any other speaker.

The Student Government Association, as well as Chief of Police Richard D. Hinkley, also attended the event. Other members of the Center4ME and student housing were present to discuss specific topics, according to Anderson.

Different issues were addressed, including the attendance policy, the gun-carrying policy, the Liberty Way (the student code of conduct), the alcohol policy, leadership, parking, student entertainment and the Honor Code.

Student Body President Chad Atchison discussed the attendance policy and some possible changes.

According to Atchison, the school board is working on setting up a system that will be based on the students’ GPA and academic performance. Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. will review the proposal during the summer for approval.

Hinkley then addressed the new gun-carrying policy and answered student questions.

According to Hinkley, a student must be 21 years or older to carry a firearm on campus. Students and professors must have their weapons concealed at all times. Students are not allowed to have them in residence halls, and only handguns are permitted on campus. No other type of weapon is allowed.

A number of other rules and regulations were reviewed for possible change, beginning next year.

According to Atchison, the Liberty Way will be under review during the summer. Shorts, hair length, earrings, neck and hem lines, T-shirts for men and curfew will be reviewed.

Anderson addressed Liberty’s reason for having a code of conduct.

According to Anderson, Liberty’s Code of Conduct is a contract between the institution and those who choose to be a part of that institution. It is the terms of agreement that ensure that there is a good relationship between the two.

During the event, one student had a question about the alcohol policy.

According to Anderson, the alcohol policy is the same on and off campus, including mission trips where certain churches use wine instead of juice for communion.

Students are currently evaluating the performances of members of student leadership.

According to Anderson, the students will be able to encourage and hold their leadership accountable.

Parking was also discussed, and a student brought up the idea of keeping freshmen from being able to park, like many other universities do.

According to Anderson, the school is in a transition stage that will eventually allow more buildings to be built. He emphasized that Liberty is a pedestrian campus, and not a riding campus. The school board is working on a commuter table to assist students who live off campus.

One policy that was discussed regards what Liberty students view for entertainment.

According to Atchison, the goal is not to keep students from watching movies that are rated R, but to prevent them from watching something immoral.

One student had a concern about Liberty moving toward secularism and stopping the traditions it has held onto.
According to Atchison, no matter what happens, as long as the student body maintains its heart toward God, no movie will stop that.

Anderson emphasized the importance of the Student Body Hall Meeting.

“Anytime a student can speak up and be heard, I hope it strengthens confidence in the relationship between the administration and the institution and those who we’re here to serve,” Anderson said. “So, when students tell us what’s on their minds and what gets them going — if you will — and we address those concerns, it increases their confidence that we’re here to support.”

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