Columnist explains why notes shouldn’t be seen as ‘pushing her religion’ onto people
My biggest fear about being a Christian on campus is having other students feel like I am pushing my religion on them.
Sadly, that fear came true.
I wanted to help other women on my floor through hardships by writing encouraging notes that pertained to their situations and adding a Bible verse at the end of it.
I first asked my resident assistant if I could put the notes underneath the residents’ doors.
Before she could answer, she had to talk to the Russ Norris, the residence hall coordinator of Elsey Hall. He told her about a policy that is laid out in The Key, the college’s student handbook.
According The Key, students can post fliers and posters on their room door but must have permission to post anywhere else in the residence halls.
“The policy on page 71 of The Key is content-neutral and applies to any posting, religious and non-religious in nature,” Norris said.
Norris also said that he could not give permission for me to put notes under people’s doors. Instead, Jacob Knight, director of residence life, is the person who gives that permission.
My RA explained that, because I would be putting the note underneath someone else’s door, that would be considered their property. The Bible verse, she said, would be a way of forcing my religion onto them.
I don’t see the correlation between writing a note and putting it under someone’s door and posting a flyer in the residence hall.
Intervarsity, the college’s student ministry, is allowed to write Bible verses on the sidewalks of campus where everyone can see them, but as an individual I have to go through an unclear process just to give encouraging notes to people.
“You are an individual student who has been provided with a process for posting within a residence hall,” Norris said. “Intervarsity is a registered student organization that is subject to a different posting policy for posting outside of a residence hall.”
Just because I am not involved in an organization, I can’t put notes underneath students’ doors?
These notes were for individual people— not the whole building. Only individuals would see the notes, not like the public Bible verses Intervarsity writes on the sidewalks.
I felt as if, in a way, I was discriminated against because of my religion.
This is not the first time a Christian has faced discrimination on this campus.
“I had a few teammates who didn’t like what I believed in and both of them actually at the same time attacked me one day at lunch telling me I was an idiot, that I was a fool,” said Jackson Freed, senior and Intervarsity large group speaker.
For the college to have a policy against putting a positive note under someone’s door is strange. I should be able to spread my faith in a non-intruding way.
“For you to publicly display it and show people Christ, I think that you should be able to do that,” Freed said. “We should be allowed to spread our faith and Christ tells us to. We have to be witnesses and we have to be bold for him and be lights on this campus.”