The Department of Athletics partnered with the Chapel office last week to put together an event that allowed students to receive Chapel credits for attending basketball games.
Students were required to attend the second half of the women’s basketball game and the first half of the men’s basketball game to receive three Chapel credits. The same formula was used last year as well when Chapel credits were offered at basketball games for the first time.
“Athletics approached Student Life several years ago about the possibility of offering Chapel credits for athletic events,” said Mark Lewis, assistant dean of spiritual life and Chapel programs. “Fall of 2012 they proposed having a spiritually-themed speaker talk at the two half times of the women’s and men’s basketball games. As a result of that, we did this on Jan. 26, 2013. We had approximately 600 students attend. The speakers were well received and their message and testimonies were powerful. The Jan. 23 event with Dr. Kelvin Kelley, associate professor of theology from Hardin-Simmons University, was received well. We had 500 students slide in and out.”
Many students welcomed the opportunity to get a few Chapel credits and to be a part of an ACU athletic event.
“I think it is a neat incentive for students to come to the game,” said Brandon Wianecki, junior history major from Idalou. “But I do think since our athletic programs are now held to a Div. I standard, our fans should be held to the same standard. I think we should support athletes without any incentives.”
The three Chapel credits were awarded for students who stayed from halftime to halftime. Although three credits is more than most forums, Lewis thought it was a fair number considering the amount of time students were asked to commit to the games.
“We are limited in the number of Chapel forum credits we can offer each semester, so we have to be judicious in allotting the credits,” Lewis said. “Sometimes it means we are able to allot one credit for every 30 minutes of the forum, but sometimes we aren’t able to adhere to that formula.”
This is the second year in a row that Chapel credits have been offered at basketball games, and Lewis thinks opportunities like this will continue in the future.
“At present, the plan is to do this one time per school year,” Lewis said.