[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 Liberty Way provides a fascinating look into the mindset of Jerry Falwell and the contemporary Religious Right. The “Reprimands and Consequences” section of the handbook sets out seven levels of violations, and you can learn a great deal from what they prohibit and how they rank the various transgressions.
Violating curfew brings one reprimand, gambling brings six, and watching an R-rated movie brings 12 plus a $50 fine. Sexual harassment and entering the dorm of members of the opposite sex results in 18 reprimands, a $250 fine and 18 hours of disciplinary community service.
The harshest punishment (30 reprimands, a $500 fine, 30 hours of disciplinary community service, and possible administrative withdrawal) is reserved for the really, really bad things. And by really, really bad things, I mean witchcraft, spending the night with a member of the opposite sex, drinking (even if you’re 21+) or having an abortion. These things are considered on par with sexual assault and a felony conviction and bring a harsher punishment than sexual or racial harassment:
30 Reprimands + $500.00 Fine + 30 hours Disciplinary Community Service + possible Administrative Withdrawal. NOTE: For each accumulation of six (6) or more reprimands after 30, an additional $150 fine will be assessed.
- Assault/sexual assault (minimum two (2) semesters out)
- Commission/conviction of any felony
- Failure of three (3) Christian/Community Services without reconciliation
- Illegal drugs-association/possession, use/distribution (minimum two semesters out)
- Involvement with witchcraft, séances or other satanic or demonic activity
- Life-threatening behavior or language to others or oneself (immediate removal/exclusion from campus and a minimum of two semesters out)
- Non-participation/disruption/non-compliance (possible removal/exclusion from campus)
- Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Spending the night with a person of the opposite sex
- Stealing or possession of stolen property (plus financial restitution; minimum two semesters out)
- Two or more individuals of the opposite sex together in motel room
- Unauthorized possession/use of weapons
Liberty doesn’t even bother prohibiting same-sex heavy petting because no one at Liberty is gay (it’s the higher ed equivalent of Iran, which also has no gay people). A quick visit to Craigslist Lynchburg suggests otherwise, but that’s a different story.