Although voices dissenting PCC can be very loud, from the perspective of a (perhaps less unusual) student, here is an attempt to describe discipline at Pensacola Christian.
Pensacola Christian College (or PCC, as we prefer calling it) attempts to implement a conservative Christian atmosphere in a way that is both practicable and biblical. For the college, adding more rules is not useful both to the potential growth of the college and for public image. Therefore, as much as possible, rules are being “cleaned out”. However, as much of the founding faculty is still present, it remains difficult, out of respect, to change certain “sticky” rules.
With the advent of Mr. Shoemaker as president over the last few years, things are getting somewhat laxer. For instance, couples may now sit together in the library, and casual clothes may include non-offensive writing or logos. Also, on game days, students may wear non-collared team shirts sporting the PCC Eagles teams.
Yet, many things stay the same – and are not likely to change soon. For example, wearing or possessing earbuds is still forbidden and results in demerits. There are perpetually rumours about that rule changing sometime soon, but that must yet happen.
Rules throughout a Typical Day
Dress code attempts to make us look professional so we might gain a competitive edge in a world that dresses down. If a guy, when one gets up, one must dress according to class dress. For guys, that means a collared shirt, a belt, pants, socks, and shoes. The shirt must be free of any non-sewn-in graphics or writing (pocket-sized is acceptable). The pants may not be jeans or cargo-style, must reach to the ankle, and have belt straps. The shoes must not be athletic nor have caps. For women, that means a shirt which covers the shoulders and does not show underwear or cleavage, a knee-length skirt, and shoes. Once again, clothes must not have graphics or writing, and denimn material is not acceptable. Also, shoes must be casual, not recreational.
Guys must remain clean shaven and keep their hair above their ears and their sideburns midway across their ears. Girls have rather imprecise hair length requirements (oddly enough), though they must of course adhere to the general rule of sticking to hair dyes of natural colour.
A student must complete his assigned daily room jobs (such as dumping the garbage, cleaning the toilet, or keeping the floor clean) before chapel every day except Wednesday morning and Saturday. Omitting to do so results in infractions which, when over-accumulated, become payable at the end of the semester.
Chapel is to be attended from 10:05 to 10:45 every morning. Students who cannot do so must attend video chapel the same afternoon. Though it is possible to scan in sick, the assumption is made that somehow attendance will be easier within a few hours, since video chapel attendance remains mandatory that same day. Not attending one day results in demerits which will put you 1/3 out of college (or about 30 demerits out of the 100 limit). Students must take care to be out of their dorm 10 minutes early before chapel. Regardless of whether he is late to chapel or not, a student will receive an infraction for being out of his dorm late.
When in chapel, a student may not study, use his phone, or close his eyes to sleep. Row monitors take attendance and write people up. Because row monitors are students chosen as PL’s (Prayer Leaders), how strict they are varies.
When sick, skipping class doesn’t help much either, since all homework is still due. Quizzes automatically result in a fail. Tests may be retaken the following Saturday at the Testing Center. When not excused, they result in an automatic 10% subtraction.
Skipping the same class two or three times results in the overall class grade being dropped 10%. Skipping class for two weeks results in failure in that class. Skipping more than 12 classes results in complete failure. Being up to 25 minutes late to class does not equal an absence, but three tardies make a class absence. Absences and demerits can be checked on Eagle’s Nest, PCC’s student and faculty website.
Past 5:00 p.m., students may wear denimn and sports shoes. But to attend supper, class dress is still required. For casual attire, no shorts are permissible. But for certain activities where recreational dress is allowed, girls may wear shorts, or sometimes pants. Students may wear relaxed dress in their dorm.
Once the day is over, a student must be sure to close his blinds before dark in provision of blind check at around 7 p.m., enforced by the RA’s (Room Advisors). By 10:25 p.m., everyone must be in his dorm; and weekdays, by 10:30, everyone must be present to prayer group. Prayer group is three or four rooms which gather for a 15-minute prayer and devotional time. Prayer groups are headed by Prayer Leaders (PL’s) and Assistant Prayer Leaders (APL’s), who must take attendance and are allowed to write up people who use their phones or other devices during prayer time. Occasionally, an RA sits in with a prayer group.
In-room time is 11:00 p.m. Lights out is 11:15 during the week and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Lights out is enforced by RA’s.
My Perspective on PCC Being Strict
Much of the rules have less to do with the college being Baptist and more to do with having control over what happens on one’s property. Without rules, I’m sure sone students would love to have sex illicitly, or do drugs, or do any other stupid thing that is at once against the Lord’s will and also destroys the college’s reputation. In the end, we pay for those people.
Do I find the rules excessive? Sometimes. Most of the rules I live by anyway, because God conveys some of their principles. However, as I’m 21, it does get annoying to have someone walk in my room to check every night to see whether I’m in bed, as though I were a child – while I’m paying to stay there in the first place. But I accept it, because I know it impeaches some kids who wouldn’t control themselves and would keep us awake all night, or would go off to do things they shouldn’t do. Such a measure also helps to know who’s missing or not in the case of an emergency.
Does it get difficult that I’m engaged, yet I cannot go off campus much with my fiancée, for lack of proper chaperones? Yes, but again, I must accept it. Is the no touch rule, which forbids us to hold hands, an irritant? Yes, but I’d rather that than to see so-called Christian students make out when they’re unmarried. That’s basically the perspective I try to hold.
At college, I’ve found many friends to hang out with that I can get along with on a level that wouldn’t compare to outsiders. So I’d rather accept a few inconveniences, and be thankful, rather than be bitter about the less agreeable things. It makes all the difference. I’m glad there’s a place like PCC.
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