BJU Adds Non-Dissent Policy To New Handbook

The 2012-13 BJU Student Handbook has been posted to the school’s website, and it contains a new policy prohibiting open dissent against the school.

On page 51, under “General Grievances & Complaints”, the Handbook states:

Students should keep in mind that it is not acceptable to disparage BJU through media. Any attempt to do so will not be tolerated and is grounds for dismissal as a student.

The rule is new to the Handbook this year and is presumably in response to last year’s student/alumni movement, which primarily took shape on Facebook.

The new policy seems to run contrary to public statements made by Stephen Jones in 2010, when Facebook was first allowed on campus, that social media sites would not be patrolled or monitored by Student Life staff.

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14 thoughts on “BJU Adds Non-Dissent Policy To New Handbook

  1. Neville Gilke

    I lived in China for two years. This is sounding more and more like governmental rules that China is now enforcing with regard to how they’re portrayed in cinema/films. A little scary. BJU, would Jesus have passed this statement? Hard to imagine they would.

  2. Tim

    I live in Germany in a greatly atheistic environment. This looks more and more like an atheistic attitude rather than “Christian”. When I see Christians using social media to discredit a Christian school, I realize there are a lot of “Christians” who haven’t understood basic Bible principles.

    1. bjunews Post author

      Tim–do you mean BJU’s strict policy reminds you of “an atheistic attitude”, or blogs like this one?

    2. Zadig

      This is nothing at all similar to “atheism”. Fundamentalism has always been about control. This should surprise no one. The only thing that surprises me is that it wasn’t there already. You don’t have to be on campus for very long to realize dissent in any form is not welcome. It’s about as close to an Orwellian society as one is likely to find anywhere.

  3. Anson Mills

    BJU once enforced a harder nosed policy that was also easier to administer: “Griping not tolerated.” Steam would have emanated from the ears of Bob Jones Sr. and Jr. if it had been suggested that students should be allowed to instigate inquiries, complaints, and appeals to the Board of Trustees. But we live in a different world, and Camille and Chris have performed the useful service of clarifying thoughts all around.

    1. bjunews Post author

      I’m assuming you’re referring to the “10 Thing To Remember” placard? It still hangs on the back of every BJU dorm door, so it’s still very much in effect.

      The same placard promises that “constructive suggestions made to the Administration” are ok, though. Pretty much the same thing they’re saying now. Nothing has changed.

      Copy here:

      1. Anson Mills

        “Griping not tolerated” is only in effect when it’s enforced; and when Chris was badmouthing BJU on social media for the better part of a year, it wasn’t being. With this new policy, the University has initiated procedural ground rules about how complaints can be handled. That’s all to the good. (I can’t imagine, as a student, having made a “constructive suggestion” to Bob Jones, Jr. without running the serious risk of becoming an ex-student.)

        1. bjunews Post author

          You’re incorrect. The system of appeals is not new. The 2011 handbook includes this passage:

          “Appealing demerit infractions Within one week of when demerits are issued, a student may appeal assigned demerits to the discipline committee comprised of student officers and representatives from the dean of men’s/women’s offices. The discipline committee—located on the second floor of the Administration Building—will hear the student and make a judgment regarding the offense and any appropriate penalty. In addition, at any time a student may address a disciplinary grievance directly with the dean of men/women if he feels the discipline committee, resident supervisor or faculty/staff member has not dealt fairly with him. When appropriate, a special committee comprised of academic administrators and Student Life representatives will hear a student’s appeal.”

  4. Anson Mills

    I was discussing “inquiries/complaints” about BJU as an institution not appealing personal demerits.

      1. Anson Mills

        I think we’ve ended up going around in a circle. You introduced the University’s handbook entry by saying that it “contains a new policy prohibiting open dissent against the school.” Now it seems you’re arguing that nothing about the policy is new: not the substance (“Griping not tolerated”) nor the system of appeals.

  5. Mike

    For years the little 5×7 card was posted on the inside of every dormitory room door entitled, “Things to remember.” The first rule, “Griping not tolerated. ” Was a good rule then and now. Why don’t some of you bellyachers get a life, specifically eternal life!

  6. Pingback: BJU Publishes 2013-14 Student Handbook, Highlights Include Changes to Church Attendance, Music Policies | BJU News

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