Liberty’s new curfew policy: What does this mean for the future of LU?
While some believe that Liberty’s new curfew policy grants students the freedom and flexibility they deserve, others are under the impression that Liberty is slowly headed in a direction far away from its original values.
This year, the Liberty Student Government Association (SGA) passed a bill that would allow students of the age of 20 and older to stay out past curfew.
Before the policy change, students were able to sign a late night sheet if they wanted to stay out past curfew at a campus approved place or event. With this new policy, a sheet has been created allowing students who are 20 and older to sign out to go anywhere in agreement with the Liberty Way after hours as long as they are back by 5am.
“Curfew has not been abolished, it’s just our sign out sheet allows students to go do their Cookout run at 1 a.m. if they want to,” SGA president, Caleb Johnson said.
The bill was presented last year to Johnson and SGA vice president, Jared Cave by former freshmen class president, Gage Taylor. After taking interest in the bill, Johnson and Cave began collaborating with Taylor.
Cave took a particular interest in the bill due to his experience attending a very structured all-male boarding school.
“I went to an all guys boarding school for the last two years of high school and it was crazy structured,” Cave said. “We were basically told when to do something, how to do something, basically the whole nine yards. So structure is nice but its only good to like a certain point.”
With this experience, Cave and Johnson were able to develop a sound argument for the bill.
“Our argument was to have college be a transition period from kind of being a kid into being an adult. This way when you graduate from here and go out on your own, it’s not going to be this huge culture shock where you can do whatever you want,” Cave said.
The bill was finalized right before Christmas break of last year and approved this past summer by senior vice president of Student Affairs, Mark Hine.
SGA officially announced the new policy to the student body through social media late August of this year. Since the announcement, SGA has been receiving both praise and criticism.
The majority of the acclaim received has been from students who are excited to experience more flexibility and freedom.
“A lot of the praise we got is that people are excited to take their community groups out to cookout with no problem,” Johnson said. “There is a lot more flexibility if you want to go to a friend’s house and study.”
While a number of students are expressing their excitement for more freedom, there is also a number of parents who are not particularly in favor of their children staying out after hours.
Johnson and Cave recall several incidents in which mothers of students have contacted the SGA office worried about their children not being in bed by midnight.
“If you have certain rules for your kids, then you should enforce those, but here at college, Liberty is not going to enforce making sure your son is going to bed at 12 o’clock,” Johnson said.
Both Johnson and Cave emphasized that when students come to Liberty, they still will have curfew, however when those students turn 20 they are given the option to sign out.
Others are worried that in light of other recent policy changes over the years such as revisions to the dress code, entertainment policy and relationship policy, that Liberty is on its way to becoming a secular school.
“I think that we shouldn’t be just revoking rules left and right and that is something that has to have a balance, but I don’t think that liberty’s core values are being stripped,” Johnson said.
Liberty Univeristy has seen several changes since the days when curfew was at 10:30pm and men were required to wear ties to class.
Johnson acknowledged the fact that Liberty has undergone several changes over the years regarding its amount of restrictions and rules.
According to Johnson and Cave, responding to these changes has urged SGA to discover a balance between getting rid of minor inconveniences and eliminating rules.
SGA is currently working together to create new policies and revisions that will benefit the student body while staying true to Liberty’s core values.
“As long as we remain true to our vision, which is training Champions for Christ, we are doing what we are supposed to do,” Johnson said.