With all the demands various student groups are making at their universities, it’s nice to know that some administrators refuse to kowtow to these groups. If you want to see what happens when a university surrenders to a small minority, look no further than the University of Missouri. Two years after the protests, admissions have fallen by 35% and the university has had to close seven dormitories as a result. Before the protests admissions had been growing and they were building additional dormitories to house the influx. But one dean, Dr Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, refused to take the bait and has held the line against similar protests at his school.
It’s finally happened. A college president, faced with whining students who are offended by….well…….everything, has written a letter to the entire student body. (Some of which I presume will offend some students) He reminds them they are in college and that perhaps the reason they feel bad is a little thing known as a conscience. Dr Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University explained what their purpose and his is at the university.
Here is his letter in it’s entirety:
Dr. Everett Piper, President
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.
I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”
I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!
So here’s my advice:
If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.
If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.
At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.
Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!
This is not a day care. This is a university!
I applaud Dr Piper and wish more colleges and universities had more like him. Then again, Oklahoma Wesleyan is not Yale or Dartmouth, where the presidents are careful not to offend the spoiled brats of well to do parents in order to keep those tuition checks and honorariums coming in.