Just what kind of place is Liberty University, the religious college that invited Mitt Romney to their commencement despite him carrying the notable burden of being considered, according the university curriculum, a member of a cult? Apparently Jerry Falwell instituted some pretty strict rules on the student body. Right Wing Watch takes a look at what sorts of student behaviors merit the harshest penalties, according to the student handbook:
30 Reprimands + $ 500.00 Fine + 30 hours Disciplinary Community Service + possible Administrative Withdrawal. NOTE: For each accumulation of six (6) or more reprimands after 30, an additional $ 150 fine will be assessed.
- Assault/sexual assault (minimum two (2) semesters out)
- Commission/conviction of any felony
- Failure of three (3) Christian/Community Services without reconciliation
- Illegal drugs-association/possession, use/distribution (minimum two semesters out)
- Involvement with witchcraft, séances or other satanic or demonic activity
- Life-threatening behavior or language to others or oneself (immediate removal/exclusion from campus and a minimum of two semesters out)
- Non-participation/disruption/non-compliance (possible removal/exclusion from campus)
- Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Spending the night with a person of the opposite sex
- Stealing or possession of stolen property (plus financial restitution; minimum two semesters out)
- Two or more individuals of the opposite sex together in motel room
- Unauthorized possession/use of weapons
That’s an, er, interesting list. Committing a felony or using a weapon carries the exact same penalty as witchcraft, abortion, or “spending the night with a person of the opposite sex.” Sheesh.
Murder a guy? That’s 30 demerits for you, buster. Spending the night with someone of the opposite sex? Also 30 demerits, you sick freak. And if we catch you casting demonic spells on your classmates, maybe turning your roommate into a newt, or being able to multiply two numbers in your head without pen or paper, well, that’s—actually, that’s also 30 demerits. Everything’s 30 demerits. (Being in a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex during any time of day, I will point out, is a point entirely separate from “spending the night” with them. They just want to be really, really clear about the whole “opposite sex” thing. Same sex, on the other hand, is fine.)
Is it common for universities to level monetary fines against students who commit felonies, abortions or are caught with beer? A minimum $ 500 fine strikes me as just trying to bleed your wayward students for a little extra cash, but I suppose it’s in line with what you might expect from a university founded by a televangelist. You pray, and you pay.