Bodoh, Joe Powell and I had our late night chat. Suffice it to say, I am in agreement with Bodoh on the subjects of movies and video games, as well as on certain rules that pertain to these. I'm also about to break my earlier promise of a non-statement and make a point about this.
First off, I write about this because I care about this. My sister is coming to Christendom as a freshman in the fall, and I honestly want her to have the best experience she could possibly have. Sometimes I worry about that, and this post will do a small bit of explaining why that is so.
In its efforts to mandate what it sees to be a proper community experience, the school often departs from the creation of rules and atmospheres conducive to true community. Rules such as the ones described are unacceptable intrusions into the personal lives of people who are essentially adults. They have that funny smell, the smell of a superficial understanding of human nature, and that particularly rank odor that arises from social experimentation.
Community will arise if we only allow it to. Some of my fondest experiences of community life on campus was sitting up late nights in the dorm with some of the best friends I'll ever make in my life. Common rooms were not a part of this experience. Video games and movies often were.
People who know me will remember that I was never a member of any cliques, nor was a game-headed loner. This is not an exposition on my greatness, but it is a statement that there are many people who are like me in the fact that they do not fit into the ideal that Christendom has concocted concerning true community life. Community comes from shared ideals, fellowship, and common ends. I would have thought that this was an obvious point, especially for the philosophy-minded Christendom administration. True community does not come from following guidelines and rules that are supposed to "foster community," by eliminating things that "distract from" community. People will join together in the bonds of friendship by nature, and others will close themselves off from the world. That is the way of it. Those who tend to join with others in community will use video games, movies, etc., for that purpose. Those who tend to close themselves off will do that with the help of these things. The school oversimplifies the complexities of these issues by assuming that if a thing is ever used as a tool against community, then that thing should be banned. Using that logic, we should ban religion, books, and thinking in general.
I'm not making a case for video games and movies as much as I am saying that the school is making an attempt to micro-manage in a damaging, even possibly sinful way. We've observed this trend in a sort of downward spiral that many of our rules and communty issues have been taking, and I think that we really need to take responsibility for our own community lives. I think it is a tribute to Christendom students that we still have a strong community, not "in spite of those wretched video games," but rather, in spite of the unneccesary and damaging regulations in this area.
As someone who is not at the moment a Christendom student, my opinion is by definition compromised in its relevance, but I think I'm entitled to a parting comment. Anyway, there you have it. I don't know how many people I represent in this viewpoint, but I also want to depart by saying that I don't wish to cause any trouble. I just think that I really do have an obligation to make this point. Thank you for your patience.