ACU prides itself in being a university where multiple ethnicities are represented, but the one thing that ties faculty, staff and students together is the same thing that drives a wedge between students of varying ethnicities: Chapel.
Chapel is a large component of student life. It is a platform where ideas are heard by thousands, and voices are raised both in dialogue and praise.
Lately, students on campus have engaged each other in dialogue about racial tension, discrimination and ultimately how to reconcile the various groups on campus. Why not continue the talk of diversity into Chapel during Praise Friday?
For the past several weeks, the one constant element of Chapel has been the group leading worship on Praise Friday. Chapel attendees have been part of a 30-minute concert on repeat. It is the same people and the same songs, but with no varying style. It has become predictable, and the sense of diversity has been lost.
Albeit, those select students who lead on Fridays were blessed with the talent to sing and entertain a crowd, it has just become simply a ritual that is losing its flavor.
Diversity is needed.
Three years ago diversity was exemplified when praise songs were sung in Spanish for one special Chapel session, and old hymns were given a taste of “soul.” Not everyone may have appreciated singing songs in Spanish, but it was the fact that someone tried to make a difference and to integrate culture into Chapel that counted.
It was at these times that Praise Friday was something to look forward to.
For the first time this semester Chapel-goers will witness some diversity in song and style when Eric Mallet, junior Christian ministry major from St. Louis, Mo., and his group, the FAM, leads worship Friday.
Mallet said the reason there hasn’t been much diversity in Chapel is because no one is stepping up; no one is deciding to make a change.
Change is a most welcomed thing. Change can add culture.
Maybe Friday will mark a change in the existing trend that has caused some students to grumble.
Like Alex Gee said in Chapel on Tuesday: We can tell how well the church is doing by looking at society. We are the church; we must be the change that we want to see. We must be the first ones to take a stand and make a difference, whether it means volunteering to lead worship in Chapel, creating a group on campus with the goal of reconciliation or even working together to change existing policies on campus.
Be the one to change.