It has come to our attention that you may be interested in an
underground newsletter about Pensacola Christian College.
We at The Student Voice want to thank you for taking time to read this
letter. The issues we address on a continual basis can be very controversial
and hotly debated, and the questions we try to address are equally as
The Student Voice is about honesty. It is about openness. It is about
treating you like the adult that you are. We believe that whatever your
opinions may be regarding the philosophy at PCC it is a legitimate position,
even if they are in disagreement with ours. Unfortunately, according to the
administration your view is either unimportant or flat-out wrong. Why else
would there be sanctions for expressing a disagreement with a policy of the
school? We try to provide a forum where this discussion can be conducted
without fear of reprisal.
Just to give you a little background on The Student Voice, it began as a
web site to which opinions and comments were posted on a regular basis, but
we quickly realized that not everyone who has e-mail access at PCC also has
internet access. Therefore, we decided in the middle of September to
transform our method of communication from a web page to an e-mail
newsletter. The number of “subscribers” grows daily and it is our goal to
have over 200 readers by Thanksgiving, and at the rate we are growing we
should easily reach that number.
The writers of The Student Voice are not students of PCC, but rather we
make up part of the alumni family. In the vernacular of today’s hip culture,
we’ve been there, done that. Many people ask us why we do not “get some
backbone” and state who we are. We remain anonymous not because we are
afraid of identifying ourselves, but because we see this as nothing more than
a distraction of the real issues. Whether you know who we are or not does not
change a thing we are talking about.
The Student Voice is currently a weekly publication in which we discuss a
specific topic related to the school and include some of the comments and
responses we recieve from our readers. We also include various other items
of intellectual interest that we feel you may find interesting. It is pretty
much a free-spirited editorial page.
Please don’t be afraid to respond in any way you see fit. We have
learned from a reliable source at PCC that e-mail is NOT monitored, and we
keep all correspondence STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL unless you specifically request
your name or e-mail address to be posted.
The following discussion is what we originally had posted on our web
page, and it should give you a basic idea of where we are coming from.
BASIC POSITION OF THE STUDENT VOICE
1. Since PCC is a human organization, it is not perfect.
2. Since it is not perfect, it is subject to improvement.
3. This improvement, in our opinion, centers around the philosophy of
authority and regulations that have produced both an extreme paternalistic
environment and a level of intellectual development that is embarassing to
call it “Christian.”
4. Authority comes from God only.
5. Since all authority comes from God, if the authority to create a
rule, regulation or policy cannot be traced back to God, IT IS INVALID AND
6. If a rule, regulation or policy is invalid or illegitimate, this
does not mean it can be disregarded if the student has agreed to abide by it.
7. This issue is subject to many different views and opinions, and for
the administration to stifle a DISCUSSION of it simply because there is
disagreement is unhealthy and arrogant.
8. It is UNHEALTHY because it prohibits the mind from growing (which
seems to be contrary to the purpose of a college).
9. It is ARROGANT because the administration is essentially saying that
their position is the only one that is not only right, but that is worthy of
acknowledgment – yours is nothing.
10. A discussion of these kinds of issues can bring about an
understanding that students do not need to be treated like small children to
develop normally or to grow in Christ.
11. We have been given intellects, not so that we can give up our
God-given responsibility to exercise judgment and discernment to a group of
administrators, many of whom have never even had children, but to exercise
our free will to glorify God.
Our position is not a result of “bitterness” or “hatred” as many people
immediately conclude, but rather this is simply an attempt to create an open
dialogue about issues that face the students of PCC. As we have explained
numerous times, DISAGREEMENT DOES NOT EQUAL BITTERNESS. So please, while we
are perfectly willing to discuss our motives, our motives are essentially
irrelevant. Regardless of our motives, the issues remain the same; they do
not change simply because a couple of individuals have or do not have a
“When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.” – Cicero
Also, please refrain from using the well-worn, but irrelevant argument
that because we decided to attend PCC, the issue is somehow settled. Again,
just because someone decides to go to PCC does not mean the administration
has carte blanch to do whatever they want. It may mean we must follow the
regulations, but it doesn’t automatically render them valid.
For some reason, many people at PCC seem incapable of comprehending this
concept. Let us illustrate it this way: We live in a particular state, and
by agreeing to live in that state we also agree to abide by its rules. This
does not, however, mean that all of the rules are valid or even wise (if
valid). But we still must obey them. No one would take the opinion that
simply becuase we live in a state and must abide by its rules we are
therefore precluded from disagreeing or discussing our disagreement. Quite
the contrary. Our First Amendment is first precisely because it was
understood that this freedom (and right) to discuss things freely was as
important as the right to live.
Of course, there are differences between a private college and a state,
but the principles do not change. That is the important point to understand.
The college itself, in fact, analogizes itself to a community. Consider
this excerpt from the 95/96 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE ARRIVAL:
“Just as every other community must have policies for the citizens to
follow, so PCC has policies for the overall well being of the PCC campus.”
This is a valid, correct statement, but every other community allows its
citizens to be a part of the policy-making process. Community organizations
also understand and for the most part put into practice the philosophy that
its citizens can take care of themselves and don’t need the community to run
their lives. Community organizations also realize that their authority is
limited to what has been delegated to them, whether it be the people directly
or the people indirectly through another elected body. So, while it is true
that PCC needs policies to govern their “community” just as any other
community would, it is also equally true that just like any other community,
the leaders must understand the limits of their authority and be responsible
and understanding when it is exercised.
We invite your comments, whether pro or con. These comments will be
distributed to the mailing list. Your name WILL NEVER be included unless you
specifically request that it be. If you do not want your comments
distributed publicly, please indicate this and we will honor your request and
respond privately. If you would like to respond specifically to something
written by us or by someone else, please indicate this and we will include it
with your response so as to make it as fair as possible.
We are also open to any QUESTIONS, suggestions or criticisms. We are
also open to discuss ANY OTHER TOPICS you may want to discuss, but we prefer
to keep it focused on PCC.
“[T]he proper response to opinions one finds offensive is counterspeech, not
censorship.” – Richard Duncan
We thank you for your interest, and we hope you find the newsletter enlightening.
THE STUDENT VOICE