OPINION: SFO requirements cumbersome for nontraditional students

 

Choosing the right college is arguably one of the most difficult decisions that the mainstream high school student will have to make. Some teenagers dream of attending a university halfway across the world, while others always dreamed of attending the school down the road. Traditional and nontraditional students alike choose schools based on finances, friends, programs offered, availability, and religious affiliation.

Emily Tomei is a senior nursing major. (Photo courtesy of Emily Tomei)

Many of us—who are proud to call ourselves Malone Pioneers—chose to attend this institution because of the Christian values and moral standards that the university promotes. Indeed, it is truly a blessing to immersed in a collegiate environment in which the soul gains as much insight and wisdom as does the mind.

Similarly, the sheer multitude and vast variety of Spiritual Formation Opportunities each semester is a wonderful testimony to the school’s mission.

But what happens when these opportunities for growth in one’s faith turn into cumbersome mandates that, unless fulfilled, result in hefty fines?

We, as a student body, have committed to a university far different from our friends at secular schools. I understand, respect, and appreciate that.

However, for many nontraditional students, these Spiritual Formation Opportunities do not serve to further our walk with the Lord; rather, they prevent us from tucking our children in at night.They are unrealistic expectations for those of us who have to work full time in order to provide for our families and continue our education. They are mentally, emotionally, and economically taxing for those of us who commute an hour, each way, in order to reach Malone’s campus.

I am no saint. I fully acknowledge my need for God’s Word and presence in my life, yet there are still but 24 hours in my day.

I am no theologian, but I don’t know of anywhere in the Holy Bible where our Savior commands a man to neglect the care of his children in order to listen to worship music far from home on a weeknight.

We, the nontraditional students of Malone University, are not sifting for excuses, but rather stating reality.

Emily Tomei is a senior nursing major.

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