- Posted April 27, 2012 by
Greenville, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Part 2: Bob Jones University expels a senior nine days before graduation.
This is part two of my story at Bob Jones University.
I came back for my final semester and was immediately required to meet with the Dean of Men. I began to have weekly meetings with him, where it was implied that because I had questioned BJU’s authority I must have a deep spiritual problem that needed to be addressed and fixed. He required me to read an entire book of the Bible every day and write out my thoughts and devotions so I could talk to him about it.
As the semester progressed, the meetings changed from a spiritual focus to a focus on my social media activities. Stacks of my Facebook and Twitter posts were printed out, highlighted, starred, and circled. I felt that I was being constantly watched, intimidated, and harassed.
BJU had promised that they would not police students’ social media accounts when they unblocked them on the school networks, allowing us to use Facebook and some other social media sites on campus for the first time. Obviously, that had changed.
Around the final week of March I was called into the Dean of Men’s office for a tweet I had sent. The tweet was sent right before a required service. According to BJU, students are allowed to use their phones up until the service actually begins. But I was given 25 demerits for “chapel misconduct.” that put me up to 55 demerits.
On April 12th I was called into the Dean of Men’s office again for allegations that I had been watching TV off campus. I was informed that I was receiving 50 demerits for watching the TV show Glee but that I had the option to appeal them in a Special Committee of the Discipline Committee. I pled my case that according to the Student Handbook of BJU it is not against the rules to watch TV off campus.
The Committee deliberated. They agreed with my assertion but ruled against me because they said that the nature of Glee itself was so morally reprehensible because of their dislike of the show’s content, specifically the cheerleader's outfits, the dancing, and the acceptance of homosexuality.
I received 50 demerits for the content alone, even though there was no rule in the handbook about acceptable TV content off campus.
That ruling put me at 105 demerits, much closer to the 150 limit than I had ever been. Two days later, on April 16th, I received 15 demerits for not shaving, putting me at 120.