The Chapel Task Force released four Chapel attendance policy options to which students are asked to respond before the committee brings a final recommendation to Dr. Royce Money, president of the university.
Of the four options, the Optimist supports No. 3. It includes the ability to make up Chapel absences, something all the plans include, and a more relaxed suspension policy.
Part of each plan this year, the ability to make up Chapel absences by attending forums would show which students need to be shown grace and which students truly don’t care. If students are willing to attend any of the six to seven forums offered to negate a Chapel absence, they aren’t the offenders at which the policy is aimed. The forums, or presentations, would be similar to the war forum offered last month. The Optimist supports this plan, because the policy would sift out the students who don’t bother to make up absences without punishing those who are trying their best to juggle college life.
The policy unique to No. 3 is not suspending students until their second semester of probation. This is a more relaxed policy than our current one, which suspends students with two additional absences while on their first semester of probation.
Students should be able to miss Chapel when they need to without the constant worry of being kicked out of school. Students who have jobs, attend classes and work on homework, projects and speeches, all the while maintaining a social life, are going to miss Chapel sometimes. These are the students of which the university is most proud, the ones who serve others, work hard, make good grades and minister to people. These compose a large number of the students who have more Chapel absences, and these aren’t the students who need to be on probation.
Other options include No. 1, which is our current policy with the addition of being able to make up absences; No. 2, which provides a Chapel grade that is factored into a student’s GPA; and No. 4, which allows students to be suspended without refund or academic credit if enough Chapel days aren’t left in a semester to meet the minimum attendance.
The merit of option No. 3 is its provision for discipline when students make a pattern of missing Chapel and its grace for students who prove they are trying.