Keep controversy alive
Biola’s past can educate students about its future. | Anastasia Waltschew/THE CHIMES
As secular society rapidly changes before the eyes of Christians, it becomes our duty to be informed and change with the times. Although there are still events that are shaping discussion regarding these topics on campus, the memory of the ones that have passed needs to be kept alive.
Benefitting from controversy
If you are not aware, Biola has a past with controversial events happening on campus. In 2013, the Center for Bio-Ethical reform posted pictures of aborted fetuses in the center of campus. In 2012, the Biola Queer Underground formed at Biola and surfaced in that year. Lastly, amidst the Black Lives Matter movement in 2015, a vigil was set up on campus and pieces of the vigil were stolen on multiple occasions.
As monumental as these events may seem on a conservative Christian campus, I was shocked to find some students were unaware of any of these events. Out of 20 students interviewed, eight heard of the abortion photos, eight heard of the LGBTQ Underground and only seven heard of the vigil theft. Out of eight freshman, only four heard of one of the three events. Out of the 20, only one sophomore heard of any of these events through chapel. The latter 19 students either heard about them online, through word of mouth or saw the events unfold on campus.
The University needs to do a better job of informing students about what happened in the past. This does not mean details of the events need retelling. Rather, the topics surrounding the events, such as homosexuality on a Christian campus, can provide a learning lesson in shaping our Christian worldview. Students can benefit from controversy in the end. It keeps us Christians active in the world by recounting worldly events that occurred on our campus.
Transparent about the past
The best way to incorporate these ideas is in classrooms and in chapel. A majority of students interviewed expressed they heard of these events either on social media, the Chimes or through word of mouth. A majority of those same students were also not freshmen. Blending these complex issues into routine parts of our day would be the best way to talk about what happened. The University owes it to incoming freshmen and also current students to keep the controversies alive and be transparent about their past. Furthermore, Biola can use these issues as a way to teach students how to think boldly as Christians.
Professors and speakers from within Biola should educate the students as to what happened and how it affects our faith. They should not let second-hand information or a post on Facebook do that. People with past faith and life experiences should be shaping our faith, not the world outside of campus. Incorporating the past of Biola, positive or negative, will ultimately help students for the future.