Changes on campus: crack down on chapel, enforce drug policies
New semester. New classes. New…rules?
Students coming back to UMHB are faced with changes to chapel and the dorms.
Most of the new adjustments are to chapel. This semester, chapel is only offered Wednesdays at 10 and 11 a.m.
According to Vice President of Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee, this was done for two reasons. “One, so no chapel would miss out on a good speaker. For example, Wednesday chapel could have an amazing speaker and Friday chapel would hear about all the good reviews but get a different speaker. Also, this allows students to be able to take a 10:00 or 11:00 class.”
Usually, all four doors to the chapel are open for students to leave when chapel is over and students can scan IDs. However, this semester students can get out only two doors so there won’t be mass confusion with students entering and exiting chapel.
Two new procedures that may frustrate some students is not being able to sign if they forget their ID and being locked out five minutes after chapel has started. The time of chapel has always been enforced, but this semester, the new schedule has to be tight to eliminate chaos.
Weathersbee explained the elimination of sign-in sheets saying, “Students were starting to take advantage of the system. They weren’t just signing in themselves, but their friends too. We did that because we’re going toward the one-card system. Students use their IDs for the dining hall, gym, apartments, book vouchers,and soon Cru Cash..”
Sophomore art major Kate Winchell said, “I don’t think chapel’s new rules are that big of a deal. I know of a lot of people who were signing others in and vice-versa. And I’m honestly surprised they haven’t changed the rules sooner.”
Weathersbee said, “We are getting some really good speakers this semester. We’re hoping to get doctors, scientists, etc., to share their Christian vocation. We don’t want to hear just from preachers. That’s why we have good chapels, so people get excited about it, even those who aren’t required to take it. I’m excited about the future, and students should be pleased at what’s to come.”
Dorms will also face changes. This semester, the school has issued a policy of zero tolerance for synthetic marijuana.
Although the drugs have never been allowed on campus, instances of abuse last semester forced the school to create the policy.
Beall Residence Director Christian Hammonds said, “Now that we’re aware of its existence, we created a policy to enforce it. People kept saying ‘we didn’t know we couldn’t have it on campus.’ Now they know.”
Weathersbee said, “I know someone who almost died from taking synthetic marijuana; it’s very dangerous and illegal. We made this policy to parallel our alcohol policy and to try to stay current.”
Although changes are big, Weathersbee hopes that he can continue to make the university a better and safer learning environment.
“We don’t want to be ‘Rule U’; we want UMHB to be an incredible educational experience. Without guidelines and order, there would be chaos.”