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GC needs to reevaluate “frozen” policies

By ALLIE ENGLERT
A woman without regrets

Truth

Truth

There’s nothing this writer enjoys more than walking around our campus when it’s covered in a blanket of snow. Seeing the trees laden with a wintery mix and the beautiful brick buildings covered in a white powdery dust makes me certain that Georgetown is truly the most beautiful campus in Kentucky. Throughout this past week, however, this writer noticed that this wintery bliss can be viewed as metaphor for Georgetown’s current plight. You see, fellow Tigers, just as Georgetown was aesthetically covered in a frozen tundra this past week, many of the policies that GC currently holds near and dear to her heart are outdated or frozen in time.

The most archaic policy that comes to the mind of this writer is Georgetown’s “non-discrimination” policy (And yes, those quotation marks are intentional). To truly be considered non-discriminatory, the College should consider all aspects of one’s identity, including gender and sexual orientation. According to the GC website,  the policy as of now states, “Georgetown College is committed to equal employment for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, citizenship (as defined under the Immigration Reform and Control Act), disability or veteran’s status (Inclusion of other protected categories such as sexual orientation or marital status depends upon the school’s policy and state law).”

If Georgetown truly seeks to become a diverse campus, then altering this policy should be obviously necessary. The mission statement of GC’s diversity initiative states, “The Mission of the Georgetown College Diversity Committee is to identify critical diversity issues in the Georgetown community and to recommend strategies for addressing them.” It seems to this writer that the fact that our non-discrimination policy doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender is a “critical diversity issue” that should be addressed and altered by none other than our Diversity Committee. Senior Rachael Castillo is one of the many students outraged by this policy. She says, “The current state of our nondiscrimination policy is cowardly and hypocritical. I am utterly dismayed that an institution so purportedly committed to diversity has not chosen to protect the members of its community against every kind of discrimination.”
Due to Georgetown’s status as a private institution, the college is not required to include these factors in the non-discrimination policy by law. Still, just because GC is not bound by law to include these factors, it does not lessen the severity of the issue. Georgetown offers many entities that they are not required to by law. For instance, GC also is not required to offer free tutoring services, or free access to the gym to our students. Still, the college offers these facilities to the student population because it helps ensure the overall academic and physical success of Tigers.

Furthermore, as Georgetonian staff writer Ashlie Davis pointed out in a few months ago, a Christian institution we are called to love God first and then love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). It seems to this Christian writer that failing to incorporate sexual orientation and gender into our non-discrimination policy defies this commandment.

Additionally, several students find visitation hours to be an annoyance. Senior Evan Harrell is among the students who believe the curfew policy should be changed. Evan made the valid point that by society’s standards, college students are considered adults and should be treated as such. “We are old enough to smoke, vote and fight in a war, and some of us are old enough to drink, but if I’m watching a movie in my room after hours with a group of friends (some of whom happen to be females), we are all going to be documented. Just by the nature of the normal college sleep schedule, most activity doesn’t even begin until 10 or after, leaving little time for a movie or working on homework. I think it might be worth our while to revisit the policy.”

Another policy that requires immediate reevaluation is Georgetown’s stance as a Christian institution. While this isn’t an outdated quality of our college, what makes it “frozen” is the fact that we as a community have become stagnant in determining the details of our Christian heritage. As it is now, our Christian tradition appears to be only a title. Although this writer personally appreciates the fact that Georgetown serves as the home to many people from various faith backgrounds, it is my personal belief that the college could benefit from outlining what it means to be a Christian institution and how this could affect the four year experience of each and every Tiger. Determining the doctrine of our faith background would help solidify what it means to “Live, Learn and Believe.”

Change is a process feared by many. However, without change, America would still be a colony of England exploiting innocent slaves. As this writer has stated before, change is slow within the walls of Georgetown. One can only hope that just as our campus will soon thaw from its current frozen state, that many of Georgetown’s antiquated policies will soon no longer be frozen in time.

And if you don’t know, now you know, Tigas.