On the Friday before Thanksgiving, SA announced the university reversed its chalk policy. Though this was an action that had been progressing for several weeks, we can’t help but notice the rule change occurred after seeing chalk use several times during the semester by different students, groups and organizations on campus.
What kind of message could students take from this? A rule was broken more than once, then eliminated. Can this suggest to students that some rules aren’t necessary and if they are broken by certain people or enough times, the university will do away with the rule altogether? Each time the policy was broken every student, faculty, staff and visitor on campus saw it. Many students didn’t even know ACU enforced a ban on chalk until SA announced the rule was changed.
The chalk policy wasn’t strictly enforced, and now chalking is actually encouraged by the university. SA organized and sponsored Chalk It Up to encourage students to take advantage of the end of the two-year ban. SA will also have a chalk supply of chalk for students and organizations to use for free throughout the school year.
During the pledging season it wasn’t uncommon to see Bible verses and other words of encouragements written all over campus, words that weren’t there the night before. If students ignored the out-right ban, can administration really expect them to follow this relaxed rule that still bans chalk writing on brick, vertical surfaces and the Lunsford Trail?
Students could find other rules they deem unnecessary or restrictive to break next.
We applaud the university and SA’s efforts in meeting the needs and preferences of the student body by ending a restrictive rule that wasn’t completely necessary. This new rule and the availability of chalk will give organizations an effective medium to advertise events or causes. It provides students with a new, possibly fun activity, and we look forward to seeing some intense hopscotch competitions.
However, the rule change occurring soon after the rule had been broken several times sends students the wrong message that they can eliminate a rule by not following it.