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curious [Feb. 24th, 2005|09:21 pm]


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Hello everyone,

If you can, please read through all of this and offer me your feedback. My curiosity got the better of me and I would appreciate some enlightenment! ;o)

I'm a student at Ashland University, a small liberal arts college in Ashland, Ohio. In my English Class last year (which was my freshman year), we read a piece of literature in which Oral Roberts University is mentioned. We discussed it briefly in class, but it was enough to tweak my curiousity, so I went online and checked out ORU's web site. Then, today, when I was searching LJ for Christian communities, I stumbled across this community and I thought maybe you guys could answer some of the questions I had about student life there in general. Please remember, I am in no way "attacking" ORU or its students--I'm just extremely curious about the kind of experiences you guys have while attending there.

Just for some brief background information...my school has 2,600 students, and is affiliated with the Brethren Church. The only rules we have here that hint at the college being affiliated with a church are that 1) We have a dry campus (NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED), 2) we have a visitation policy in effect that requires members of the opposite sex to be out of each other's dorm rooms between the hours of 2 and 8 AM, and 3) every student has to take one religion class before being able to graduate.

We have an active Religious Life department and chapel which offers a Sunday Church service and several different prayer, fellowship, and worship groups that meet during the week, but they do not force us to attend of these events. Other than these things, our college is pretty "typical"--we have sororities and fraternities, athletics, and about 100 organizations. There is no curfew for students other than the "visitation" rule, but they do not have a system to make sure you follow the rule. You can only get in trouble if an RA or Security walks by after hours and hears you inside someone's room--they do not go around checking when it gets to be 2:00. If we want to leave on weekends, we can come and go as we please without informing anyone, though most people at the very least let their friends know where they will be.

What I was wondering is--do any of you feel like they are treating you like kids with all the strict policies they have there--i.e. no dancing, curfews, no guys allowed in girls dorms and vice versa, a stringent dress code, mandatory chapel attendance, permission forms for spending the night in a friend's dorm room, and the like? Do you ever feel like you are missing out on "typical" college life--parties (which are all off campus here due to the "dry campus" policy, which no one really follows anyway), going to bars, the freedom to come and go as you please and make your own rules for living? How do you guys feel about having to adhere to their strict honor code both on AND off campus? What do you guys do for fun there? I know college isn't all about drinking and sex, and I'm not trying to say that those are the only ways to have fun. But it just seems to me like the basic freedoms all young adults should have are severely cramped there. Please correct me if I am wrong. What do you guys feel are the benefits and drawbacks to attending such an evangelistic university?

I was raised Catholic, but definitely in a more liberal fashion (i.e., my parents rarely attend church, usually just on Christmas and Easter). I was thinking that maybe many of you chose this kind of university because you come from homes that live the word of Christ in a strong way, so maybe you guys don't mind all the rules. Personally, however, had I chosen a school even half as strict as ORU, I probably would have wound up transferring somewhere more liberal if not expelled first. ;o)

If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read it through and reply. My personal journal is friends-only, but if you want to add me I will add you back. Just be warned that I tell all in my journal. :o)


[User Picture]From: glori
2005-02-25 05:01 am (UTC)
Good questions! My mom went to Manchester College in Ohio, also a Church of the Brethren college. Have you heard of that one?

I graduated in '99, so I'm a little out of the loop, but not too much. I've heard some things have changed, (like boys now have a curfew, but girls can now wear pants) but the spirit of the law is still there.

I would venture to say that not a lot of people enjoy the rules. Who really wants restrictions? We protested, complained, and fought. It is not for everybody.

Like you were saying with your school's dry campus policies not being followed, many at ORU do as they please off campus. Yes, there are lots of rules, and ORU may sound restrictive, but the students here are just like you. I look at schools even more conservative than ORU and I wonder how they get along. Only when I get outsider's perspectives, such as yours, do I realize that ORU is strict. I guess I got used to the lifestyle.

Having said that, I knew what I was getting in to when I registered. I chose Oral Roberts because of it's strong spiritual reputation. I wanted to surround myself with people who had similar goals in leading a life honoring to God. (But not all are) Though the standards were high, they were high. Why not live to the highest potential?

I disliked some of the rules while there, but having been gone for almost six years I look back and shrug. It was just four years. I missed out on nothing by having to be back in the dorms by 1, though I never had a curfew in high school. I suffered no long-term illness by having to wear skirts in the winter. :) But I do remember the positive and motivational messages I heard in chapel, the friendships, the impromptu prayer meetings with friends in the dorms, being challenged to allow God to use me, and being constantly aware that I was in the midst of something bigger than myself.

I rolled my eyes at a LOT of things at ORU, but I know that God's presence was there. Since I have given my life to Him and have found true fulfilment in "eternal things," that was worth far more than any rule to me. :)

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[User Picture]From: _crayola_skies
2005-02-25 07:21 am (UTC)
What was it that you read?
I am curious.

I went to ORU for 2 years and have since transferred to a state school back home, mostly because of money.
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[User Picture]From: _crayola_skies
2005-02-25 07:22 am (UTC)
oh yeah also, I know someone who goes to Ashland. He would be a senior now I think.
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[User Picture]From: liberaldream
2005-02-25 04:43 pm (UTC)
What's his name? I'm a sophomore, but it's a small school...maybe I know him.
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[User Picture]From: liberaldream
2005-02-25 04:48 pm (UTC)
It was an excerpt from a play...I can't remember the name of it, though. It was about a guy and girl who were in a cafe, and the guy was trying to talk to the girl. Every time he'd say something "wrong" a bell would ring, and he'd correct himself with a better statement. There was a part in it where the girl asked him where he went to college, and one of the colleges he said and got corrected for was Oral Roberts University.

Our professor asked us if any of us were familiar with it, and he told us how it is a very Christian-centered university that gets a lot of flack for the way the students are treated. I wanted to know more about it from a more objective standpoint, so I went to the ORU web site and found a copy of the student handbook on there and skimmed through it because I was curious about what kind of rules they kept you under. I couldn't believe that any college would be that strict!
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[User Picture]From: noreputation
2005-02-25 10:33 pm (UTC)

no way

My friend did that play on campus last year! It was super funny, they did it for a thing at ORU called "Showcase". And don't sweat the small things. There are plenty of stricter colleges, check John Brown University....yikes!!! Give ORU a visit, you dont really know it until you have visited and such.

God bless,
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[User Picture]From: liberaldream
2005-03-02 09:22 pm (UTC)
I remembered the name! It was called "Sure Thing."
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[User Picture]From: suping
2005-02-25 03:38 pm (UTC)


I don't mind most of the rules, just 'cause I've had a fairly strict upbringing and ORU was actually not that strict for me. So I'm kinda used to it, except for the curfew. I never had a curfew after I turned 15 or so, probably because my parents trusted me and knew I was responsible. I hate having to rush back to the dorms. Another rule I detest is not having the option to move off campus as a senior. However, I managed to get past that rule.

I do not feel like chapel services should be mandatory. Even more so, I do not think that fining someone $50 after have missed chapel more than three times is an effective way to solve the problem, whatever that may be.
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[User Picture]From: liberaldream
2005-02-25 04:42 pm (UTC)

Re: rules

We are not allowed to move off campus here, either, even as seniors. You have to be 22, married, divorced, or "commute." Some students whose parents live within 35 miles of the school (that's the magic number for commuting) just say they are commuting and get a house nearby--that's how there are some houses where people have parties, since on-campus is all dry.

I don't mind living on campus, though. The only complaint I really have is that the dorm rooms are microscopic. I have never really followed the dry campus or visitation rules since I've been here, and I have never been caught violating the alcohol policy. I just got busted for visitation for the first time a couple weeks ago when I was in a fraternity house room after hours, but the only consequence is your choice between 2 hours of community service or a $10 fine.
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[User Picture]From: shinkarasu
2005-02-25 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yes...it really did bother me. That is why I am now at Ball State in IN. I was at ORU for 2 years from 00-02, but then transferred to BSU. ORU is a great school for the people who are supposed to be there and like to be restricted on their lives, but it was just not for me. Luckily the floor I was on, Dominion, had a bunch of people like me so we circumvented the rules as much as possible.

It felt more like a boarding school than an actual college.
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[User Picture]From: liberaldream
2005-02-25 07:17 pm (UTC)
I kind of got the same idea from seeing the ORU Student Handbook. When I was looking at colleges, I knew I wanted to go somewhere that students would want to get the best education possible and that religious life events would be present if I wanted to go, but I'd also still be experiencing "normal" college life on the side, too, like dances, parties, talking all night with friends, and the like. I feel that here, there's just enough restriction to keep me in line with the goals I have set for myself. :o)
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[User Picture]From: _crayola_skies
2005-02-25 07:43 pm (UTC)
His name is Alan Huntington, he might be a political science major. I don't remember. But I went to high school with him, he was a year ahead of me.
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[User Picture]From: _crayola_skies
2005-02-25 07:45 pm (UTC)
My cousin goes there.

I just know people all over these United States. haha
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[User Picture]From: bluecupofice
2005-02-27 07:21 am (UTC)
haha, wow! I've seen that play too!

anyway, I currently go to oru. so here's my take on it.

background on myself: raised in a liberal state/town/whatever, never had a curfew in high school, did whatever I felt like doing in high school, went to church but my parents would never make me (even though they are pastors). so while I at first had reservations about coming to ORU, I can tell you the rules aren't that bad.

1- you can sign out 4/7 days of the week. mondays you can't sign out because that night is when we have "hall meeting" and find out what's going on for the week. so really, 3 nights out of the week you HAVE to stay in the dorms, and otherwise you can sign out and stay wherever. they don't check to see if you are really where you sign out, and it takes about 2 minutes to sign out. it's not a big deal at all.

2- no matter what anyone tells you or what reputation the school has (albeit a good one), ORU students drink/smoke/party. not all of them do, of course, but some do. some do in their rooms even. it's not like security comes into your room every night and strip searches your room to make sure there's no drugs or alcohol.

3- the boys and girls not allowed in each others rooms is stupid, I think, but whatever. the university just wants to maintain a good reputation for our school and I'm sure they know that since people go and sneak around doing whatever they want to do anyway, they just have to give us less of a chance to do it. if that makes sense. I do know a girl who spends the night in her boyfriend's room. or at least she used to before he moved off campus. she never got in trouble. the boys just took apart their fire alarm and snuck her up the fire escape.

4- chapel isn't bad. it's actually a nice break in the day, at least for me. a chance to refocus on the week and stuff.

5- dress code. I don't know how the boys feel about it but I don't mind ours at all. the girls dress code is easy. girls can wear a nice shirt, or they can wear a t-shirt as long as the t-shirt isn't ghetto looking. they can wear nice pants/courdoroys/khakis or skirts. they can wear pretty much any shoe they want besides sneakers. it's really not bad.

6- you can be a commuter here too, and people do that whole "I'm living with my parents, but really not" thing here too.

basically, it comes down to people. ORU has rules. some people follow rules, some people don't. the students here do what they want to do, regardless of what the university tells them. a lot of it goes on in secret if it goes on at all. bascially, you just can't get caught. the one thing I do have a problem with here is how girls are treated differently than boys. if a girl gets pregnant, she gets kicked out, while the boy just gets a fine. stuff like that annoys me.

but really, the rules aren't as bad as people say they are or expect them to be. plus, the whole curfew thing...tulsa is lame, everything closes early so by 12 or 1 there's nothing to do anyway.
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[User Picture]From: hilaryfan16
2005-03-02 10:11 am (UTC)
Check out Bob Jones University... It is much, much worse. I laughed when I read there rules.

I graduated from ORU this past year. Pretty much what everyone's been saying sums it up. You go to ORU for the people, not the rules. I formed relaitonships at ORU that had a profound impact on my life. The other students (most of them) and the faculty are awesome. The administration, not so much.

The administration is full of glaring hypocrisy. I won't get into details of that here, but I wasn't a fan of them. Plus the fact that the behavior they expected of us was given in an "Honor Code," and then they do everything they can to control your life and will discipline you any chance they get is extremely inconsistent. If it's an "Honor Code," shouldn't they leave it to our honor?

My main problem with ORU is that they take peripheral matters and bring them to the center, placing an inordinate amount of emphasis on them, for example, the drinking and smoking thing.

For me personally, I had no problem with all the rules and crap because A) I knew what I was getting into beforehand, and B) I didn't mind at first because ORU's views on most things were similar to my own.

But, I changed a lot during my time at ORU, and by my senior year not only had I changed denominations, but I disagreed with most of the policies of the school's administrations.

Their insistence on micromanaging our lives is ridiculous because they also claim they want to raise responsible adults. Yet they insist on trying to babysit the students. The curfew thing is especially ridiculous. And especially their reason for giving guys curfew where before it was just girls... That course of events was extremely shady and underhanded because the decision had a money motive but different reasons were given for why it was made. Plus, the fact that they announced it three weeks into the school year, not before the year started was despicable on their part, because that was past the deadline where you could get a full refund and withdraw from the school. And some people really wanted to.

So, yeah. That's ORU. Having graduated there I would never, ever, send my kids there unless there were massive reforms, which is unlikely. However, that being said, I do not regret going there at all. I learned so much in my time there, about God, about myself, about people, and I have so many awesome memories of my time there.
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From: singpsalms3321
2005-03-04 02:00 am (UTC)

On the contrary

Unlike a lot of the posts that have been posted so far I agree with the rules that ORU has. Although, I am a high school senior; planning on attending ORU this fall. Anyways, I think that the rules are a good thing because they keep you accountable and in line with God's word. I don't think there is any use in sneaking around trying to hide what we do when God can see everything we do anyways. Sure, you can hide these things from human eyes and fool them, but you truly can't hide from God no matter what you do. So, if it's not acceptable in God's eyes why even bother?

Some backround on myself: My mother is Christian, but not a pastor, missionary, evangelist, or anything like that. I'm allowed to do anything I want to, but I just choose not to. When I was in 10th grade I was on the verge of making the biggest mistake in my life, but knowing God's word on premarital sex I decided that it would just hurt me more. I have gone through a lot within these past four years and I would never go back to how I use to be. So, I would have to agree that it is based on the person and their choices. Amazingly enough though... it's our choices that also decide on how successful in life we become. My policy is check with God and if it contradicts...don't do it.

So, thats what I think so far, but who knows my opinion might change after I graduate. Although, I don't think it will.
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