The seeming majority of ACU students managed to disgrace themselves yet again Wednesday.
With a visitor on the Chapel stage and many more in the seats to the side, students decided they’d rather act more like high-schoolers than adults, talking and laughing to such excess it required one teacher to leave his seat and interrupt a noisy gaggle.
Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of the College of Business Administration walked from the floor into the middle regions of Section T to sit with and later talk to a group of students who were so noisy, they could be heard literally halfway across Chapel.
During the Bible reading, the chatter began and it increased in intensity until the closing prayer.
Not only is disrespect toward a guest speaker appalling, disrespect to the reading of God’s Word at a university where the vast majority of students claim to be Christian is shameful.
The student body portrayed itself to high school guests as on an intellectual plane equivalent with 13-year-olds, unable to sit through even 20 minutes of speaking without getting restless, talking and acting up.
Wednesday was a slightly exaggerated highlight of a larger problem. As Chapel has gone on this year, the chatter level has increased steadily. Perhaps that is because this year’s policies have created a monotonous Chapel experience, removing the last vestiges of intracampus interaction in favor of sing-and-speak repetition.
That idea has some merit.
However, objection to Chapel policy is no excuse for disrespecting the guests on this campus.
Objection to subject matter is no excuse for disrespecting other students who are trying to pay attention. And objection to Chapel itself is no excuse for outright disrespect of God and his Word.
The full blame rests on those who cannot find the patience or maturity to sit quietly for just 20 minutes. And that is unfortunate for a group of people asking to be treated as adults.