The Religious Right Nanny State, on View at Liberty University

[This is part of a series of posts on Liberty University's student handbook, “The Liberty Way,” which governs what students can say, do, read, and watch – both on and off campus – and sets out a regimen of reprimands and fines for violators

The Right Wing loves to talk about how liberals supposedly want government to interfere with every aspect of Americans’ lives. That’s why it’s amusing, but not surprising, that Jerry Falwell has seemingly created a university that interferes with literally every aspects of its students’ lives.
 
Students from Arizona – the “show me your ID” state – will feel right at home. Liberty requires that all students carry their ID cards at all times and produce them upon request:
Identification Cards
When new students/faculty/staff arrive at Liberty University, they are photographed and sent a LibertyOne Card. […]
 
The LibertyOne Card must be carried at all times and produced when requested by University personnel. This should be done in a timely and courteous manner. LibertyOne Card holders are subject to disciplinary action for the misuse of any identification card.
A typical college doesn’t track your whereabouts or punish you for not making your bed. Liberty is different:
Students desiring to leave earlier than the scheduled breaks must obtain written permission.
 
Out of the Residence Hall Overnight
Any time a resident student plans to be out of the residence hall overnight, it is imperative that he/she sign out on the overnight sign-out sheet.
 
Room Checks
Residence hall rooms are to be kept neat and clean at all times. The following will be checked on a regular basis:
  • Bed must be made
  • Carpet must be vacuumed
  • Trash must be emptied
  • Sink and mirror must be clean
  • Dresser tops and other stands dusted and in order
  • All personal belongings organized and in place
Students living off campus are not only expected to follow the same rigid guidelines, but they could also be subject to spot checks from Liberty personnel:
Liberty University expects its commuters to live above reproach in their private residences, as well as in the local community. In matters such as prompt payment of debt and relations with the community as a whole, the University exhorts that commuters, single and married, maintain exemplary conduct. […] (University personnel may periodically visit the private residence of off campus students to assist in resolving off campus problems and to ensure compliance to University regulations.)
The Liberty Way is always in effect. You can’t get away from it – not even on summer break:
Liberty University regulations and policies are in effect at all times, including semester breaks and summer.
 
Vacation/Breaks
All students are expected to uphold the standards set by the University whether on or off campus. This includes weekends, all fall, spring, summer, and Christmas breaks. Any behavior considered a dismissal offense, as stated in The Liberty Way handbook, which occurs during these times, may jeopardize a person's status as a student.
Liberty also wants to be involved in your personal life and work life. They will prevent you from working for any entity that violates the policies and principles of the school and really think you should get your parents’ permission before you get married. And if you do get married, you can forget about living on campus:
Marriage
Students under the age of 21 are encouraged to obtain permission from parents before getting married. Premarital counseling is available and may be arranged by contacting any Student Development office or the Spiritual Life Office. Married students are not permitted to live in the residence halls.
 
Student Employment
In maintaining a reputation in the marketplace consistent with the philosophy of Liberty University, employment will not be permitted where a student (as a major, active part of his/her job) is required to violate the policies and principles of the University. Any questions regarding employment at Liberty University or within the community may be directed to any Student Affairs Dean.
The school also administers “Alco-Sensor” tests and mandatory, random drug tests. Failure to consent to testing is a major violation of the Liberty Way. More on that shortly.
 

 

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Liberty University