Some student groups will have to change their small group Chapel meeting days from Wednesdays to comply with a change in policy by the Chapel Office.
The new policy requires groups to meet on either Tuesdays or Thursdays during the semester. Mark Jackson, associate director of student organizations and programs, said the change will allow the Chapel Office to emphasize larger Chapel services on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Come to the Quiet Chapels are still planned for some Wednesdays, and seniors will speak some Wednesdays throughout the semester.
“We’re really trying to create an environment on Wednesdays,” Jackson said. “We want to do things in there that the whole student body can be a part of.”
A few groups that traditionally have met on Wednesdays now face some scheduling trouble as they try to work around the Chapel Office’s decision. For several years, the Student Alumni Association, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, and the Honors College have conducted their small group Chapel meetings on Wednesdays.
Jackson said the Chapel Office will allow some groups to keep meeting on Wednesdays this semester and has been willing to talk and listen to groups but still is asking them to move to Tuesdays or Thursdays in the spring.
“For the most part, once they hear what we’re trying to do, that we’re wanting to be together, we’re wanting to do great things, we’re wanting God to take back what’s happening in Moody, the conversations have been going really well,” Jackson said.
“You know there are some groups that already have a system set up, and we know that,” he said. “We’ve said, ‘Hey let’s get through the semester and next semester we’re going to ask you to go to Tuesday/Thursdays, and they’ve been like ‘Hey, that makes total sense, we can do that.'”
Drew Richie, senior officer of the Student Alumni Association, said changing SAA’s meeting day will be difficult.
“It’s going to be a challenge to work around that request,” said Richie, Biblical text major from Lake Jackson. “With groups like SAA, there is a correlation with our student members and involvement with a lot of other things on campus.”
Students who are involved in many areas need Wednesdays to meet with organizations, Richie said.
“We take pride in how involved our student members are, and I think it will cut down on the number of students able to be involved in our meetings,” he said.
Alison Spencer, Honors College academic coordinator, said she was unaware of the new policy. She said Honors Chapel already has a speaker booked and will continue to meet on Wednesdays for the remainder of this semester. In the spring, Honors Chapel will likely move to Tuesdays or Thursdays, she said. But she still has some concerns.
“I’m not too worried, but I hope it doesn’t take away from people’s opportunity to attend either Honors Chapel or other small groups,” Spencer said.
The change could force students involved in different groups to choose which Chapel they will attend.
“We have a ton of Honors students, and they are all involved with different things,” Spencer said. “If they’re having to choose between groups, that’s going to be really sad. I don’t want them to have to do that, and I also still want them to attend Honors Chapel.”
Honors will meet with the Chapel office to figure out how to move forward in the future.
“We’re going to ask what’s the best way to handle this because obviously we want to be accommodating but these are concerns that we have,” Spencer said.