By Sarah Carlson, Copy Editor
Dr. Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life, spoke to students in Chapel on Tuesday about several recurring behavioral issues that have concerned him. He said a number of instances over the past several weeks spurred him to appeal to the student body to look at their behavior.
Barnard began by requesting students arrive at Chapel on time and be quiet when entering.
“I’m sorry, but it’s just not appropriate to come in late and talk while we’re singing praises to God,” Barnard told the crowd. “It’s just wrong. I want to appeal to you and let you know that you are louder than you think.”
He mentioned two instances in Chapel recently when students talked during the lessons of Dr. Mark Love, assistant professor of ministry, and Mark Lewis, director of Student Life, saying he was embarrassed for the speakers as well as certain sections in Chapel.
“The decent and courteous thing to do is to come in quietly,” Barnard said.
He said it is inappropriate for students to leave Chapel early, saying that it is a lesson learned in kindergarten. He also mentioned that an administrative card is slid in the card readers when Chapel is officially over, so every student swiping before then is counted absent.
Barnard rebuked students for “sliding and gliding,” sliding in to Chapel and then leaving, only coming back to slide out again.
“That’s a lie, it’s deceptive, it’s cheating, and it’s an issue of academic integrity,” Barnard said.
The recent deaths of two students at Colorado University from alcohol poisoning prompted Barnard to mention the seriousness of underage drinking, and he said within the past two weeks, a student came within 20 minutes of dying of alcohol poisoning. He said the student’s friends left the scene to avoid receiving another citation for minor in possession, and this is one of the most selfish things he was heard of in a long time.
“I’m unwilling to wait until one of you dies to use your life as an example,” Barnard said.
“It has got to stop.”
Barnard said he was talking in a guarded context, but in every case where alcohol was involved, laws were broken and lives were endangered. He said residents in neighborhoods have also complained to the university about being woken up in the middle of the night from students being too loud.
Another issue addressed was the use of foul language on campus, which consists of not only swearing but of derogatory language addressed toward students of a different gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic background or those “who are struggling against homosexuality.” He later said this was brought on by several of his U-100 students and other freshmen commenting about things they have heard around campus.
“Am I off base?” Barnard asked the crowd. “Do I need to let go of a burden because it’s a false burden?”
Barnard closed Chapel with a prayer that students’ hearts will be changed so that their lives will change. He later said that the entire Chapel series this semester focuses on changing the heart, and that is why he had Proverbs 4:23-27 read.
He said he has received positive feedback from administrators, faculty and students alike. He said he does not want to come across as arrogant or as an enforcer, but he hopes his talk will remind people of their actions and begin conversations on campus. If we make mistakes, he said, we can apologize, grow from the mistakes and move on.
“The point is we just need an encouraging environment that really spurs us on to do well,” Barnard said.