Breaking Legs (of Wayward Lambs)

If you’ve ever been a very naughty boy or girl on the campus of Bob Jones University you may have received something like this…

It’s funny how this sort of thing never made it into their promotional materials.


Since a lot of folks are asking how one accumulates 100 demerits, here’s a handy chart taken from the 2010-11 Student Handbook(You can click on the link to see all the details of the offenses and student life rules in general)

289 thoughts on “Breaking Legs (of Wayward Lambs)”

  1. I went to BJU. You really have to be fairly stupid to accumulate that many demerits. I regularly left campus without checking in/out, took day trips on Saturdays, used my car beyond allowable boundaries for a freshmen, smoked on occasion with friends (off campus), etc.

    What gets you into trouble are two things:
    1. Doing stupid things ON campus (or in very public places in plain view)
    2. Talking about it

    Quite honestly, as long as you go to class and are in the dorm by 10, you’re fine. At least in 1995/96.

    1. “You really have to be fairly stupid to accumulate that many demerits.”

      That, or have enough integrity to think you were actually supposed to keep the rules and not try to hide your “sin” when you inevitably fell short in a system designed to reward the fakers and punish anyone with a shred of conscience.

      1. Yes, see, that was me. I did not play the system, or not much, because I believed what they told me. I believed that obedience made me right with God. They have the Lord in their little tiny legalistic box, and when I got out, and tasted and saw that the LORD is GOOD, I also saw how big our God is, compared to the one they say they serve.

  2. So, wearing a skirt that’s too short 4 times is as grievous an offense as cheating or committing plagiarism? Good grief, I attended the U.S. Naval Academy and this reads almost as strict!

    This is literally slavery, and quite inappropriate. Even if it’s hard to accumulate these demerits, these guidelines are as unloving as you can get. You can’t hold an off-campus job? Wow! Who would want to go there, anyway?

    1. Awesome! My Grandma lives in Annapolis, and while I lived there for a while I served with the chaplaincy there. My dad was an officer in the USCG.

  3. At HAC you could earn both demerits or offenses. Demerits were given for what they considered ‘moral’ offenses, and offenses for ‘character’ offenses. Demerits could result in restrictions like this. Offenses had to be worked off. I remember working off offenses, but can’t remember what I did to earn them. I think it was because I didn’t turn in the paper saying I’d read the handbook on time.

    1. Offenses hereafter my time. And here I thought it could not possibly have gotten any worse… ๐Ÿ™„

    2. They started offenses in the fall of ’95 or ’96. I never acquired offenses until my last year when I just didn’t give a crap anymore.

  4. Twitch, twitch! This brings back some awful memories from college. No wonder I still have nightmares about finding myself back at Fundy U…

  5. My senior year, they finally did away with socialing/campusing. (Those are not even words, BJU. Don’t even play.) Still, you have to have counseling (presumably not vacuuming your floor every day is indicative of a spiritual problem) if you reach that level.

    My fiance go “socialed” our freshman year, right as we started going out. He accumulated 75 demerits for the floor. Lovely, yes?

    And the point made earlier about not telling anyone…a good one. A friend of mine from high school got socialed the first semester of our freshman year because he made a digital copy of his Vintage picture and also had *gasp* PG-13 movie music. Unfortunately, he hadn’t learned yet to watch what he said around certain people…though he did never find out who told.

    And I came very close to getting demerits for “not wearing hose” under my knee-socks (and I was), which my floor counselor (or whatever that title was) had to confirm by lifting my skirt up from behind and poking at my knees. *shudder* And by the way, there are no rules that say they have to do that. She just did. While my roommate was watching. x.x

  6. Jerry K. says we’re all doing damage to the cause of Christ.

    Looks to me like Darrell posted BJU’s own disciplinary policies with very little commentary. If that damages the cause of Christ THEN BJU IS THE ACTOR because THEY WROTE THE POLICY.

    1. Jerry’s pastor allegedly molests little children. I don’t think this site is the one doing damage to the cause of Christ. ๐Ÿ™

      I was expelled from Fairhaven Baptist College. I admit I totally broke their antediluvian rules, but that was the most demented school. They did the whole church discipline thing on a man they claimed was demon possessed. All righty then. They also campused a girl who was raped. Speaking of damaging the cause of Christ … ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  7. Oh, the nightmares I still have of my time at PCC. I was an extremely conscientious student, and always had fewer than 15 demerits each semester. I remember being horrified the one time I was written up for a dress violation. Someone turned me in for wearing walking shorts that had ridden up over my knee while I was sitting on the floor in a girls’ dorm.

    I’m really wishing I hadn’t cared as much…

    1. I too went to PCC back in 92-96. It was a nightmare and a cult. I got socialed my Junior year. Best day of my life to look in their faces and say “I’m not sorry for what I did, I’m just sorry I got caught!”

  8. Who needs Jesus when you can follow lots of rules to commend your holiness before God and man. If you can’t even follow these rules how do you expect to get to heaven? They are just separating chaff from wheat what’s the big deal?Always knew I wasn’t spiritual enough to make it there. Probably too lazy as well.

  9. I made it 2 restrictions into their campused notice, and am just furious, and recall the total a-holes it takes at PCC (or in this case BJU) to come up with these kinds of “punishments”, and believing they are in position to judge kids spirituality by demerit total & determine what needs to be done about it.


  10. The military isn’t this strict or controlling.
    Boot Camp isn’t this strict or controlling either.
    I think that says something about these rules.

    1. Boot camp is more controlling, and more frightening. The difference is that you know what you signed up for, and you get benefits. You also know that boot camp is a temporary mind game.

      After boot camp, the military is much less controlling and more reasonable than HAC ever was. When not on duty, you’re pretty much free.

      1. Emily said,”You also know that boot camp is a temporary mind game.” How much of Christianity feels like a permanent one, mind game that is. Because that’s what’s required to make people comply, not the Grace of God. I just don’t know how people survive these experiences aside from God’s grace.

        1. That is the answer, k. I look back now and realize it was the grace and mercy of God that got me through it, and got me out of it.

      2. The military also pays you to put up with it. It’s the other way around at churches where tithing is a Serious Issue. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Tithing and TUITION! People pay ALOT of money to go be slaves at these colleges (and be treated like this)

      3. Not having had personal experience, I’m speaking from conjecture, but it seems that the army would take a heavy physical and emotional toll; BJU’s rules, although they are strict physically and can be hurtful emotionally, usually exact a spiritual toll. And it’s not for a limited amount of time: you feel that it’s forever, for your whole life and for eternity. You must strive to prove to the world the excellencies of Christ; any slip-up on your part brings dishonor and shame to God. That’s a heavy burden.

        1. I know people who have been out of BJU for years, don’t work for them, but still feel like following their rules is some sort of moral imperative. They look to BJU for advice on every decision (what to wear, whether to go to a movie, etc), but have very limited understanding of their own. It’s like they’ve been spiritually and socially retarded (using that word in its correct sense) for life.

        2. Physically, HAC took the greater toll. I went to class full time, worked full time as a telemarketer, and had every Saturday and Sunday eaten up by required ministry work. Some time during all this, I was supposed to complete homework. Making time for exercise was out of the question, and my diet was shitty.

          Physically, I’m much healthier in the military than I was while at HAC. I get colds less frequently, exercise regularly, and have more overall energy.

        3. I hear you, Emily. Just getting away from HAC and getting some SLEEP improved my health phenomenally. Jack Hyles said that it was all in my head. ๐Ÿ™„

        4. It was ridiculous. It started really hitting me into my second year. There were entire months where I’d feel ‘sick’ or just ‘off’ more days than I felt well. I thought I was falling apart health-wise, and was so upset.

          When I enlisted, my biggest worry about boot camp was my newly acquired tendency to catch every cold that came in my vicinity. Instead, my health improved during those two months, despite the stressful schedule and environment. The food served in the chow halls was healthier, and the exercise made me stronger. In fact, I discovered there was a ‘runner’ in me, and I’ve been doing local races ever since.

          My advice to anyone going to ANY college would be to not run themselves into the ground. It’s not worth it, and many people don’t bounce back the way I did. You only have one body, so take care of it. This killing yourself early in the name of serving god is wrong.

        5. Absolutely. Fundies will tell you that tobacco and alcohol will hurt your body, so they are sinful, but what about bad food, little exercise, no sleep? I was depressed my third year there, all the time. I wanted to leave, but my mother would not let me come home. I have tied to be sensitive to my college-aged kids, and hear what they are saying. In fact, two of them left the colleges where they started ( secular) for other universities.
          My son also absolutely adored basic training for the Army Reserve! This, in spite of the that he got pneumonia during it! I am so happy for you, that you have found your path.
          P.S. Not a teetotaler. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. And BJU/PCC wonder why their enrollment is decreasing? I read that Furman has enrolled 100 more freshmen this year over last year. Go figure.

    1. Oh yes. Somehow they keep tracking us down even though we move and sending us the PCC update. It’s now buy 3 years get 1 free. They are desperate. Good.

  12. Can someone give examples of “misuse of media”? It sounds like ripping a magazine or scratching a DVD.

    1. All yours,
      Guidelines for Participating in Social Media

      A Christianโ€™s use of social media, like any other form of communication, can reflect positively or negatively on his Christian testimony. The guidelines below are common sense principles that will help a Christian maintain a consistent testimony when communicating with others.

      * Social media are public forums; there are no private social media sites. Post only information that you are comfortable having many people, including potential future employers, read about you.
      * Avoid posting personal information such as your address, phone number, etc., that could make you a target for identity theft.
      * Post worthwhile information that adds value; avoid self-promotion and information of limited interest.
      * Assume personal responsibility for what you post. Make sure it is accurate. Secure permission before citing another person. Respect copyright laws. Do not post proprietary information, including course syllabi, lecture notes or material on course pages. Cite references, and when you do so, acknowledge the source. Keep in mind that you are legally liable for what you post.
      * Identify yourself by your real name and write in the first person. If you identify yourself as a student or faculty/staff member of BJU, be clear that you speak for yourself, not BJU. Keep in mind that what you post will reflect on BJU. As appropriate, add a disclaimer that indicates the content of your site represents your views and does not represent the opinions or positions of BJU.
      * Respect your audience. Avoid abusive, slanderous, complaining, profane, irreligious, blasphemous or tale-bearing speech.
      * Follow biblical principles when posting on your personal site: communications should be edifying.
      * Do not post photos of children or students under 18 without prior parental permission in writing.
      * Take the high ground and avoid picking fights. Do not respond to posts critical of you or the University if posting will prolong discussion. If you post information in error, be the first to correct your mistakes.
      * Delay posting if you are angry or upset about an issue as this is the time when you are most likely to post information you later regret.
      * If you alter a previous post, indicate that you made a modification.

      Guidelines for Establishing/Maintaining a BJU Social Media Site

      * BJU departments and K4-12 schools wanting a social media site (including a Twitter account) are to provide Internet Marketing ( with the goal(s) for the site, a brief three to six-month plan for how the site will be used and who will post and monitor information.
      Internet Marketing will launch the site, secure the handle and turn over the site to the existing department. This procedure will ensure there is a record of all โ€œofficialโ€ sites and that site names are appropriate and consistent. (BJU Press departments should direct requests to Interactive Marketing.)
      * Official sites require time and people resources. In conjunction with setting goals, establish metrics for your site to continually measure its effectiveness. Keep in mind that effectiveness is not always measured by number of followers.
      * Student groups such as the Collegian, UBA, etc., are free to establish sites as long as the faculty advisor monitors the site.
      * Understand that a department site will bring negative and positive feedback; value the negative feedback and use it to improve as appropriate.
      * Provide timely responses.
      * In speaking on behalf of the University, be familiar with FERPA regulations and avoid disclosing personal information about a student.
      * Avoid articulating positions contrary to the public position of BJU.
      * Avoid using an official BJU site to endorse a cause, product or political candidate.
      * Keep in mind that you may see student posts that reveal questionable activity or activity contrary to BJU student policies. Use this as an opportunity for dirtyhanded discipleship.
      * Faculty and staff should limit access to personal sites during work hours to interactions with students.
      * When posting photos, ensure people in the photos meet the dress code for the activity involved. Do not post photos of children or students under 18 without prior parental approval in writing.
      * If a question arises you cannot answer, do not try to answer it. Find the appropriate person who can answer.
      * Follow the Universityโ€™s general guidelines for participating in social media.

      1. Huh, these look pretty much identical to the social media stuff they talked about at my job. Except for the ‘dress code’ part at the end. A lot of the points are pretty good like not disclosing info that opens you to identity theft and not to post stuff that could cause employment problems later.

      2. “Keep in mind that you may see student posts that reveal questionable activity or activity contrary to BJU student policies. Use this as an opportunity for dirtyhanded discipleship.”

        Wow… Do I take it correctly that “dirtyhanded discipleship” = tattling and tale-bearing so the offender can be “lovingly” corrected?

      3. Actually nearly all of these do seem pretty reasonable and common-sense, far more than I would have expected from BJU. Even the dress code part works within context. Dirtyhanded discipleship, though…I’m guessing it’s exactly what it says on the label? What would Jesus make of someone spreading rumors and taking things out of context?

  13. I was thinking about the issue of rules today. Not in the realm of universities, thankfully those fundy universities are all in America. But here’s the thing: you can follow all the rules, and have an evil heart. And it will come out, because the rules will not cover every instance in your life, and they are often wrong in themselves, and besides, the rules completely fail to cover loving those who don’t follow the rules.

    You can have a precious heart that loves the Lord God and has a good relationship with Him and look nothing like the person that those rules would produce.

    In fact, I strongly suspect the two are mutually exclusive.

    1. That’s one thing that frustrated me so much at BJU: the people who didn’t care were still sneaking around breaking the rules, but those of us who did sincerely want to please Christ by obeying our authority were being viewed with suspicion and distrust and being harassed with pointless and burdensome rules (like in my day, not sitting at a table in the library with someone of the opposite sex even though the tables seated 12 people.)

    2. That’s a great point. Jesus told us to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. IMO the second part is a product of the first. So if my neighbor is gay or an atheist, I could still love him or her. I’m guessing this would breach the Fundy code of conduct.

  14. It’s hilarious to me to hear that BJU is surprised by the results of the alumni surveys they’ve sent out recently. Alumni are saying things like “over my dead body” or “when hell freezes over” in response to the question of whether they’re planning on sending their kids to BJU. When I attended, there were 100 students who could have been expelled for every one that was. During the summers there would be 150-200 students dancing and drinking at Characters (local club) on any given weekend. The kids that made it and graduated let out a giant sigh of relief the second they got off campus. BJU always took immense pleasure in flipping the bird to the world, the government, the students, and anyone else that didn’t kiss the founder’s grave. Now that the enrollment, and most importantly the money, is rapidly disappearing they suddenly care about what the alumni thinks.

    I was on Student Legislature at BJU. One night in Columbia we were hanging out and having a few beers with representatives from The Citidel. After comparing rules, it was agreed that they had more freedom at The Citidel then we had at BJU. It was also agreed that the drinking competition was a tie. I had a great time at BJU because I had great friends and none of us gave a rat’s ass about the rules. I’m sure it’s the same today. The majority of the students know the rules are insane and have no Biblical basis. They play the game when they have to, but it’s Animal House every chance they get. At least, that’s how we coped.

    1. Oh, Student Legislature. How I do wish I’d been mature enough then to appreciate the opportunity that SL was.

  15. I played Dungeons & Dragons the whole time I was at BJU. I played off campus. I knew of a town student who worked through all 4 years as a cook at Hooters. As long as you don’t do anything stupid on campus and keep your mouth shut, there isn’t much you can’t do.

    1. I’ll second that. You can DEFINITELY get away with a lot if you shut up and keep low, but speaking from experience that is a crappy way to exist. Constantly looking over your shoulder while on campus, and hanging out only with people you know at Clemson on the few weekend passes you get as a dorm student (use to be one or two a month) really sucks. Better to just go to a normal school, wish I had.

  16. Exactly where in scripture does it say that God is limited in his identity because of what we do. If so, then he is not a very omnipotent God!

    1. In response to the previous post:
      “You must strive to prove to the world the excellencies of Christ; any slip-up on your part brings dishonor and shame to God. Thatโ€™s a heavy burden.”

    2. I’m not saying that’s what I believe or what the Bible says, but it’s definitely the impression one often gets at Fundy U, and it takes a tremendous toll. You become exhausted spiritually in your attempts to live up to what is expected of you instead of resting in what Christ has done.

  17. Yeah, I got “campused” my second freshman semester at BJU (2003) for tardiness to class, glad to hear from Amanda above that they discontinued it. Still managed to go off campus pretty much every day without incident.

    I kinda wish I would have been caught though. Maybe then I would have wised up, transferred, and graduated from a university respected by other institutions of higher learning and employers in the job market ๐Ÿ™

    The whole thing only taught me to constantly look over my shoulder and trust no one at BJU, which is I’m sure was exactly what they had in mind ๐Ÿ˜

  18. Seems like students of these “Universities” would have to use spy tradecraft like leaving masking tape “X”s on lampposts to make sure either of the other isn’t a plant, if they intend to meet through this forum. Be careful. Collusion is a high crime.

  19. Seriously y’all? After reading these comments I feel like you all have a serious problem. If you all are any type of Christian, I think your time would be better spent doing, well, just about anything, instead of spending a buttload of time bashing something you have no control over. I’m no fundy, but seriously you guys, last time i checked there wasn’t a verse in the Bible about publicly tearing down a particular group of YOUR SAME RELIGION, just because you don’t see eye to eye with them.

    I mean, i understand you all are haters, and haters’ gonna hate. Nothing I say will actually affect anything said here. I know at least for BJU, anyone graduating there has a good chance of being accepted into a post-grad program, and know of several who have gotten accepted into number 1 law schools, med schools, music schools, etc.

    So get over yourselves, realize that there’s people out there who don’t hold the same standards as you but love God, get off your friggin high horse, and go serve God instead of bashing others.

  20. No fun aloud at Bob Jones!!! At West Coast you can do whatever you want.

    Two videos have made YouTube that have given Bob Jones a bad name:

    1. Watch Bob Jones American Bandstand

    Some boys are dancing around in their dorm room to Lionel Richies’ “Dancing on the Ceiling”

    2. Watch Bob Jones Blue Jean Baby

    Some BJU girls decided to get radical and make a music video in their dorm room wearing blue jeans set to The Tubes “She’s A Beauty”. Jack Schaap mentioned the shenanigans in one of his sermons.

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