March 04, 2004


Why is it that colleges seem to think that college students are loaded? Besides the enourmous amount we pay for tuition, we are charged fees for just about everything they can come up with. Personally, I was recently given a ticket for parking in a handicap parking place that was not clearly marked. There was no sign in front of the space, as there is in front of the two spaces next to the one I erroneously parked in. Also, the painted sign on the ground was covered by snow, which the grounds crew had not plowed. So who gets the $100 ticket? I do! Now, I understand the concept of handicap parking. Truly I do, and if there had been a visible sign I would obviously not have parked there. I contested the ticket and was told I would receive a phone call the next day, which I never did. Now, because of this unpaid ticket I have a stop on my account, which means I could not view any of my own information, or receive grades, or register for next semester. I gave up and paid the ticket, but I wonder what it is they think they are accomplishing by saddling me with this fine? The hassle with the security guard was enough to prevent me from ever parking there again. Honestly, knowing it's handicap (now) is enough to prevent the same mistake. But is it enough for them? No. A college dedicated to Christian values insists upon full payment. This payment, I might add, is taken from the loans I've taken out to pay for my living expenses so that I may concentrate on my studies. This Christian College is just making it that much harder for me to get OUT of debt and on my way to the mission field. Does this make sense to you???

Posted by Mary at March 4, 2004 06:53 PM | TrackBack

good call Tim. Why is it we pay more than other students, but get less for it?

Posted by: Graham Ware at March 4, 2004 09:27 PM

When it comes to fines, I sometimes wish the school was more hartless.

Posted by: John den Boer at March 4, 2004 10:12 PM

and, of course, less heartless.

Posted by: John den Boer at March 4, 2004 10:14 PM

Er, that wasn't me who just wrote that, but my friend Mary. :) Nevertheless, everything she said could apply to me, since I have gotten a parking ticket for rather idiotic things -- though due to my laziness and I think some break or something, I didn't get around to appealing it within the requisite time. I never heard back -- probably they just tucked it into my tuition bill.

But yes, it is shameful that Christian schools are so often places where law and not grace are, er, ruling. Especially Redeemer seems to be hypocritical in this regard; not because our rules are more byzantine (if anything, we have an approach to rules better than any other institution I've been a part of) but because we have such lofty standards for taking every pattern and subjecting it to the lordship of Christ.

Redeemer, if I understand rightly, claims that every aspect of life, both my individual life and our life as a church and as, say, a Christian University, ought to be ruthlessly questioned not, as some philosophers have believed, in the light of any created thing (e.g. Reason or Tradition or Selfish Desire) but in the Gospel -- by the light of God's incarnate Word Himself.

What does a Gospel-centred school look like? What is its parking policy? How does it differ from 'secular' (i.e. humanist) schools in these thousand little ways? And no, I don't mean moralistic externalities like separate sidewalks for boys and girls. These are the questions we must answer if we are to be faithful to the cross and our calling.

Posted by: Tim the Michigander at March 5, 2004 01:35 AM

Colleges are businesses, just like any other. Their goal is profit, your education is important, but not their primary concern.

Posted by: Ted at March 5, 2004 12:45 PM

Yeah, but Christian colleges should be different. Definitely the whole Christian education system is more analogous to a nonprofit model than a business-sector one.

Posted by: Tim the Michigander at March 6, 2004 01:35 AM

Was I ever glad to know it wasn't you with the $100. ticket! Michigander's CPA

Posted by: Mom at March 7, 2004 09:34 PM

Heh. Thanks Mom.

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