Music plays a big part in people’s lives, especially college students. People walk to class with their earphones in, and music is always being played at events. It’s amazing, the things that can be done with music.
Why has UMHB been cracking down harder these past few weeks than what we’ve seen in the past? The censorship that has been showing up is leading students to believe they can’t play music that has any derogatory or explicit language, even if the content is bleeped or replaced with other words. Even the instrumentals of questionable songs are banned.
Vice President for student life Byron Weathersbee said, “There is no new policy on music. We have monitored the type of music that is played publicly since 1845…. Our student life staff has recently had a discussion about how to do a better job of creating good playlists.”
If you went to the football game on Sept. 27, you might have noticed there was a change in the music lineup compared to previous years.
The football team isn’t allowed to come out to “Fireman” by Lil Wayne anymore, even though it was only the instrumental version that was played. Another song that wasn’t played is “Crew Love” by Drake because of the explicit content and foul language.
Even events such as Stunt Night, Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor and Cru Knights have changed lyrics to make performances fun or to add some Crusader spirit. But no more.
Senior computer graphic design major Lauren Theodore said, “The new rules have definitely made me look at things differently. I definitely want to uphold the reputation of our school, but also want students to feel like they have a choice in what a production looks like. I will always respect the administration over doing what I want when it comes to rules like this, because I really understand the reasons behind the rules.”
It may be hard to find a song deemed appropriate for events, but Theodore was able to give some insight about the situation for concerned students.
“… if you are patient and willing to meet with the administration about a specific song, especially if you’re passionate about it and feel that the message is more positive than negative, they will work with you…. The rules are ultimately to protect us students more than they are to frustrate us.”
An email came out earlier this semester with the updated handbook attached to it. Although there is nothing in the handbook stating any policy about music, much less an updated version of the music policy, it is very clear that things have changed regarding the music that is played on campus.
Complaints have arisen on social media and the talk around campus is that the music policy has drastically changed.
On one hand, college students are legal adults. The fact that the students take time to remove the explicit content in a song is proof of a student’s maturity. Until students abuse this privilege, the university should treat them as responsible people.
But a Christian college like UMHB, regardless of how the secular world operates, understandably wants to take a stand and promote the values its members feel are best and appropriate.
But if banning instrumental music because someone might “think” about the lurid lyrics is the norm, where will this end? Will faculty and staff start monitoring what the students listen to in private? What about the dress code? Should dancing be penalized too?
Weathersbee said, “Again, nothing new… we are always seeking the best student experience in our Christian environment.”