Staff Editorial: Why we do not do what we could do
Whether you love it or hate the contract, we all must obey it during our time at Biola. We cannot drink, smoke or gamble. The contract also requires both heterosexual and homosexual students to refrain from sex.
We give up privileges that others enjoy, even some privileges that are not necessarily sinful. But this sets us up for a lifetime of healthy relationships by keeping us from unnecessary struggles. The goal is that we would become more reliant on our brothers, sisters and leaders in Christ instead of things on which we will not always be able to rely.
Even some students here disagree with some of the standards. Of course, some students want to drink on their twenty-first birthday. We have all had to work around open hours to see our friends of the opposite gender. Fighting for a lobby should be Biola’s most well-known sport. We all have stories of the one person coming into the dorm drunk or who had their girlfriend sneak out in the morning. But we need to remember the contract is not meant just to take things away from us. It also gives us a unique opportunity to see the culture we live in without having to fully participate in it.
Some of us here at Biola grew up in Christian homes where we had little independence. Coming to Biola represents a time where we take on more and more freedoms. Though we may have more freedom than we had at home, it is tempting to compare our experience here to experiences at California state schools.
Maybe we should look at the reasons we came to Biola in the first place. Was our first priority to be able to do whatever we wanted? Students at Cal State Fullerton spend less than $8000 a year on tuition and have the freedom to do whatever they want, as long as it does not conflict with the state laws of California. Open hours, drinking restrictions, smoking prohibitions and discipline for un-Christ-like conduct all exemplify Biola’s intentional stance against some privileges that the rest of our age group has. If we came to Biola for an experience comparable to that of other schools, we made a mistake.
We students pay an arm and a leg to attend this school, and in return Biola gives us the opportunity to have any number of faith-fostering experiences. We have countless staff members willing to mentor us. For those of us that need counseling, Biola offers faith-based counseling. For those of us struggling with our faith, there are resident advisors, resident directors, friends and spiritual leaders on campus ready and willing to help us through. Biola has built a system of support for us, all of it meant to foster the full life that Jesus describes.
When it comes to the things that Biola does not allow us to do, we should think about the university’s decisions in light of the support system they created for us. In my experience, the lifestyle Biola requires of us is not meant to keep us from the full life we are meant to live. Rather, these restrictions keep us from hurting ourselves, and in the end, mean to make us healthier adults.