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Evangelism Barred from Universities; Regarded as a “Buzz Kill”

In Campus Politics, Student Issues on June 15, 2011 at 1:04 am

Christianity took yet another hit among youth this past week when 30 colleges across the country effectively barred any evangelistic group from preaching, recruiting, or demonstrating on university property. Though the ban will most likely be ruled as a violation of 1st amendment rights and eventually overturned, many school officials see it as a brief moral victory.

The movement was spearheaded by Lane University President Diane Lottman, who had received a sizable amount of negative feedback from her student body in regards to the Christian Evangelists that littered the campus on any given day.

Lottman had expressed a personal distaste for the demonstrators as well stating “I have no problem with anyone who wants to stand on the corner and hand out a bible, or quietly mention to me that I have a home in Christ should I choose to accept him. It’s the yelling that gets to me. I’m just trying to make my way between administrative buildings most days and on three distinct parts of campus I hear all this hootin’ and hollerin’ that is so vitriolic it makes my stomach turn. We should all be able to get where we need to go without having to dodge pictures of aborted fetuses or side-step people in cowboy hats screaming about how God hates homosexuals.”

Pictured: The people that Christ chose to represent his will on Earth. Clearly.

Lottman is the solitary university administrator willing to make a public statement against evangelical demonstrations, but she is clearly not alone in her convictions. The other 29 institutions maintain that they are merely responding to student input, and that they feel the presence of too many evangelical groups is “distracting, divisive, and a major bummer.’

While most religiously minded demonstrations at college campuses are non-invasive, regular interruptions of daily life have started to occur at college campuses. Temple University has its own resident evangelist, who has posted up outside Paley Library for several years.

While the 45 year old demonstrator wishes to remain anonymous, he describes his method of proselytizing as a ‘visual and auditory celebration of our Lord. A combination of the Good Word, and art inspired by religious fervor.” The student population tends to refer to him as ‘That guy who shouts scripture at us on the way to class, and paints nonsensical stick figures.”

Don't be drawn in by the temptation of hot stick-on-stick action

Students, like Temple Junior Tom Bartlett, tend to be apathetic at best toward the roving groups of evangelists that spring up in various parts of campus. They are rarely regarded with hatred, but rather as an annoyance because they force the students to actually examine their hedonistic lifestyle.

“I have no problem with religion, you know?” said Tom Bartlett. “I just kind of put all my eggs in this atheist basket though, and I really don’t like to be reminded that if I’m wrong its going to mean eternal hellfire, boiling lava…and I imagine that there would also be a non-stop loop of the movie ‘Encino Man’ playing too.”

There is a special circle of Hell reserved for Pauly Shore.

Colgate University Senior Becky Kahn also feels ambivalence toward the evangelical sects on her college campus. Kahn, whose mother is Jewish, says that while the groups are never overtly prejudiced, the inherent bigotry is strongly implied.

“It’s one thing not to follow Jesus,” said Kahn, “Its quite another thing to be told you straight up killed the guy. If a Roman centurion walked through their demonstration, then I could understand them accusing him. I clearly wasn’t there, and if I was, I definitely wouldn’t have killed Jesus. I mean long hair, good beard, six-pack abs, liked to wear sandals; he looked like a lot of the guys I am currently going to school with…I probably would have asked him out before I tortured and killed him.”

The Savior of Man, and the Sultan of Sultry

The Evangelical groups are naturally upset by their exclusion at some campuses, but since they can’t protest at the schools themselves, they are forced to intensify their efforts on other campuses. Oddly enough, their increased presence at the schools that still allow them has only hurt their position amongst the students because, to quote UPenn sophomore Glenn Hurley, “They’re everywhere now like flies on shit. Also, they are protesting not being able to protest right? That’s dizzying logic.”

The members of these evangelical groups refuse to have there fervor dampened, and blame the ban on the unsavory elements of society. As Harold Carte, leader of Evangelical Students United (ESU) put it, “Colleges are Satan’s Prep School, where young men and women not only learn about, but actively participate in, the worst sins mankind can commit. Those that reject our message are under a trance induced by the Dark Prince. It’s the only plausible explanation.”

The horns may say "evil" but the monocle screams "classy"

Drexel Freshman and ESU member Shelley Catagnus isn’t going to let a few naysayers shake her religious conviction either, and eagerly awaits ESU’s day in court.

“With the Lord on our side, it doesn’t really matter what any earthly court has to say, but I’m sure they’ll see the light and find in our favor. Until then, it is up to the devout to continue our mission. I will not be deterred. I will yell my religious beliefs at people until they see the error of their sex-crazed, drug-fueled, self-satisfying lifestyle.”


Non conformists withdraw support from Obama

In Campus Politics, Student Issues on July 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm

They're so unique, they all look the same.

White House Pollsters have been in a flurry this week as a disturbing new trend threatens to undermine President Obama’s appeal to the youth of the nation. Over the past month, and more markedly within the last week, Obama’s staff noticed a sharp decline in Hipster support for Obama. At first, the pollsters didn’t know how to interpret the data. Undergrad Rag spoke with polling coordinator Rod Rexely about the anomalies.

“Well at first we didn’t know how to look at the data, we couldn’t imagine we were losing the youth market,” said Rexely. “So we went back to the source and tried to figure out where it was coming from.” After Rexely and staff looked at where the drop in support was geographically they noticed a few common threads.

“We couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the negative polling came from establishments that hosted amateur poetry nights, areas where most if not all of the residents ride road bikes, and where sarcastic and ironic t-shirts were sold in bulk,” Rexely said. “It was amazing to note that the tighter the average person’s jeans were, the more sour the feedback became.”

It wasn’t long before Rexely derived a conclusion and realized Hipsters were the cause of dipping support. Analysts everywhere were baffled at the decline though considering the massive swell of support shown by Hipsters during the election. Virtually no other demographic could be counted on to so consistently volunteer for canvassing, to put stickers on every conceivable object, or obnoxiously impose their views on non-believers. Former campus campaign coordinator Todd Whitehead also expressed disbelief at the sudden drop in Hipster support.

“I mean, these people were Obama machines. They didn’t just support Obama, they despised everyone else. I can’t be certain but I think I walked into a group of them burning an effigy of Palin. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able find the necessary amount of people to stand at every college campus, shamelessly soliciting support for Barack and dismissing the views of others.”

Knowing it was the Hipsters was only half the battle though, the real question was why. Rexely and his staff formulated their own theory.

“We call it the ‘Non-Conformist effect’ and it revolves around the Hipsters’ illusion that they must always be on the cutting edge of what’s popular,” said Rexely. “It works on a simple ratio system. For every two people in the general public that like something, there is at least one Hipster who is required to hate that thing. For example, let’s say a band is on the indie scene and 100 Hipsters buy the CD. When the band gets picked up by a record label and starts to actually make money, 100 members of the general public buy their CD. Now, only about 50 of the original 100 Hipsters will find it socially acceptable to like that band anymore.”

As Rexely explains, Obama’s decline in support can be attributed to the fact that so many more people like him now. Knowing the problem, the solution is to make Obama less popular than he once was.

“Obama is too widely accepted for Hipsters, so we have to give him more of an edge. He has to be reviled by all other aspects of society. Additionally, he needs to loath Hipsters themselves to get back in their good graces. It’s a sickening cycle of pretension and disingenuousness that literally makes me want to vomit.”

Middle Class White Student Realizes Racism Still Exists

In Campus Politics on August 24, 2009 at 4:26 am
The way life should be, but clearly isn't.

The way life should be, but clearly isn't.

Nineteen year old, white, middle-class male Temple University student, Josh Wilkinson received a rather harsh wake-up call a few days ago when he realized that racism is still a potent force in the United States.

Wilkinson was walking back to his dormitory at the edge of campus when he was accosted by several African-American Youths.

“They looked like grade school kids,” said Wilkinson, “I greeted them with a hearty ‘how are you neighbor’ and I thought they were going to ask me the keys to success that led to me into college.”

Instead, the three young men knocked Wilkinson to the ground and started to beat him mercilessly. They didn’t take anything from him, but rather spent a majority of their time kicking him in the ribs, muttering racial slurs and laughing hysterically. Josh, hailing from a more rural area in West Chester Pennsylvania, had been woefully unprepared for the encounter.

“Well, I’m more of a book reader. I really don’t watch TV or movies. I thought this kind of behavior was behind us. For God’s sake, I voted for Obama. Since when could a white guy not walk around North Philadelphia with a sweater vest, pink polo, and an ascot?”

However, Wilkinson’s troubles were not quite over. After he had filed the police report and went back into his room Josh told the story to his roommate Jerry Forte. Forte’s response both shocked and disgusted the already profoundly disturbed Wilkinson.

“After I told Jerry what happened he said a horrible word, one which I cannot repeat. I thought racial epithets like that died out after the Civil War. Who knew there was still so much hate in the world?”

The officers who took down Wilkinson’s report, both of which were African-American, were slightly less shocked. Officer Stuart Hendrix was even slightly critical of Wilkinson.

“I know no one ever asks for an ass-kicking,” said Hendrix, “but this kid was asking for it. He was wearing pure white linen shorts and twirling a tennis racket while he walked. You can’t make that shit up.”

Officer Mark Jackson had a similar, albeit more sympathetic, opinion. “That kid is like one big ray of slightly retarded sunshine. We asked him what color the assailants were and he wouldn’t say black. He wouldn’t even say brown. I think that kid might actually be color blind.”

            Wilkinson isn’t letting the experience go to waste. He admits he learned a valuable lesson about race relations. Namely, he learned about the very existence of race relations.

            “I always thought race relations were a combination of sex and competitive racing. In retrospect, I feel silly. But now I know, not only is racism still out there, but it really hurts.”