College Week: Crime and Punishment

No matter how much they would like to, the deans at Fundy U can’t get away with using corporal punishment on the students. In lieu of lashings, however, the administration has devised a litany of fiendishly clever punishments suitable to fit any crime real or imagined.


Demerits can be thought of as the currency of sin at Fundy U. Want to skip your room job? Listen to non-approved music? Miss a class?  You’ll pay for each offence out of your store of demerits. Take care, however, hit 150 and you’ll be on a plane back home to mom and dad faster than you can say “arbitrary rule system.”  Demerits are also an easy way for the admin to gauge your spiritual health. They’ll even send a helpful letter to your parents letting them know how you did the semester before.


Being “socialed” is a punishment reserved for those who have committed a crime of passion such as talking to a girl in the Library, shaking a boy’s hand, or using the wrong elevator.  While enduring this punishment, you will not be able to speak to, write to, sit next to, or breath the same air as a member of the opposite sex. If you should be so unfortunate to be socialed, you’ll soon learn who your real friends are — they’re the ones who will leave their own significant others to come keep you company at dinner so you don’t have to eat alone.


There is an odd sort of cognitive dissonance to this particular punishment. Having spent thousands of dollars in advertising to convince students that their campus is the happiest place on earth, the administration then decides that the worst punishment they can imagine short of expulsion is to confine students to that selfsame little slice of heaven. In addition to not being able to leave, no campused student may talk to or room with any other campused student. This gives the powers-that-be the ability break up groups of friends that they believe are a bad element.


When a Fundy U student has sinned unto death and is having their fate decided by the deans office they spent their time as the shadow of a floor leader.  This means that they will follow everywhere and have no communication with anybody except for the deans office and their current guardian. Being shadowed at Fundy U is the kiss of death. In a very real sense the shadowed student is dead to his classmates.  They cannot speak to him, look at him, or even acknowledge his presence.  Even attempting to say “goodbye” can result in the expulsion of any student who commits this defiant act.

Call Slips

One of the most terrifying moments at Fundy U is the moment after opening your mailbox when you spot that green square of paper that requests your presence in the Dean’s office. This almost never ends well because the deans are masters of…


If you’ve ever been repeatedly pulled out of bed after midnight and given hours of interrogation in the freezing cold by a power hungry Fundy U Residence Manager in an attempt to make you confess,  please  know that you are not alone. The tactics used in attempt to get students to make  a confession or turn in their friends would make any intelligence service proud. Fundy U deans will divide and conquer, attempt to use guilt and coercion, promise to cut deals, and (if all else fails) outright lie in order to extract the answers they want from a student. You don’t get a judge and jury. You certainly don’t get a last cigarette.

Somehow this regiment of shame and terror in enforcing the ever-changing and often unwritten body of rules never makes it into the glossy brochures or the sales pitches from traveling singing groups. At Fundy U you are always guilty until proven innocent and suspected of evil just by virtue being alive. caveat emptor.

144 thoughts on “College Week: Crime and Punishment”

  1. I’ve really had my eyes opened the last few months reading from other’s experiences at BJU and PCC. As a Hyles-Anderson grad we were always led to believe BJU and PCC had gone wordly. They were not under the auspices of a local New Testament church, were not as separated as us, not as biblically sound, blah blah.

    In essence we have all come through the same ordeal. I shutter that we thought we were better than others (that is more Christ like). I’m shocked to hear how strict those Fundy U’s were! I thought you all were having a big ole party at BJU =)

  2. I guess I wasn’t on campus long enough to get into any real trouble. However, in my Jr. year, first semester, I did end up in the DC line every week because my row monitor wasn’t competent enough to check the correct box (the person next to me was excused 2 days a week). By about the fourth week, the poor faculty lady who’d been sentenced to work DC looked at me and said “The usual?” I guess that’s the advantage of being a working town student living over 25 miles away.

  3. @Anon.

    If you went to school in NC, I probably know you. If you didn’t, I know people who went through your exact situation.

    The school I went to wasn’t anything like what was posted today; at least not in the early years. I started hearing stories though later on as new Deans came into the picture and I left my staff position when the whole Calvinism snafu blew up. Too many good people were falsely accused and got hurt.

    Like I stated in a different post though, I was a cool RA. 😀 I had girls who worked late at McD’s or Bojangles, and they always brought leftover food back. I let those that wanted it stay up and wait for it. I was also lenient in other areas. I remember hearing stories from other dorms about how strict theirs was and how it was unfair that mine wasn’t. LOL Oh well.

  4. @anon. “Sorry to hear there are others out there!”

    Me too. It is a shame when words like “Elect”, “Predestine”, and “Chosen” aren’t allowed to be discussed in the classroom or the dorm room even though they occur in the Bible and therefore have some kind of significance.

  5. By the way, my name’s Nathan. I feel kind of silly being anonymous, as though I were still on the lam, hiding away in some third world country. Don’t know why I didn’t just use my name in the first place.

  6. I’ve always wondered how many other people found it amusing that the “name” Satan is “The Accuser”, yet Fundy U thinks it’s a good idea to set an entire dept & heirarchy of “student leaders” dedicated to accusing the “lay” students of any & all infractions the can. The more you can accuse the better you are doing your job. It’s kind of a little frightening how they embrace it with no concern whatsoever of who’s job it is to accuse.

  7. @Anon. “By the way, my name’s Nathan”

    Now that you have identified yourself and admit to commenting on a not-right-with-God blog like this, please report to the dean’s office. Oh, and here are 30 demerits. 🙂

  8. “Colleges are able to carry fundamentalism farther than the churches were ever able to, having complete control of the students that churches only dreamed of.”

    That is a very good point. For 4 years they control your every move. Your environment is better than parents could even dream of for that matter. And all the while they take every opportunity to indoctrinate you. They teach only to indoctrinate. I hadn’t thought of it before, but you are right.

  9. Thanks for the warm welcome! Thanks for the demerits! And no, I’m evangelical, not even baptist. I just think it’s funny that no one is over this stuff. Is this page like stuff christians like, plus whining? Haha. Have a good life, guys! But seriously life continues.

    1. Wow, spoken like someone who has never actually experienced spiritual abuse! 🙄

      Seriously, I would like for people like this to go and see how this “you’re just bitter, just get over it and get on with life” routine would go over at a forum where victims of child abuse or some other type of abuse are talking and telling their stories. Well, no I don’t want them to, because that would be completely insensitive.

  10. @Victor….no one is whining. They are relating their personal stories of attending various fundy colleges. And I never went to a fundy college. Now go misspell on another blog.

  11. Victor said he’s evangelical and not baptist. Does he know that according to the teaching/preaching I was under growing up, that means he can’t be fellowshipped with because he’s a compromiser and serious doubt would be placed on his salvation? (I don’t think that, but that’s what I’ve heard others say.)

    We’re learning to laugh about the ridiculous assumptions like that. Blogs like this help. It’s one way of learning to get over it. It’s a process, Victor. We’re not all as free as you are! Some of us have a lot of deprogramming to go through!

  12. “Shadowing” meant different things between BJU and PCC, I think. I understand that at PCC, it’s something that’s done while a student is under suspicion and probably on their way out the door. At BJ, it was done after a student had already been “shipped”, but was not yet able to leave, like if they were catching a flight out of town the next day and had nowhere else to go in the meantime. Considering that a lot of students were very angry at that point, the university would assign a hall monitor or somebody like that to be with them until they left campus, to make sure they didn’t vandalize property or anything like that. They were still allowed to talk to their roommates and other students, but one would think that would be a very awkward conversation. AFAIK, it was not done to students who had simply been accused of something.
    When carried out that way, I don’t see it as being any different than when somebody is laid off or fired from a large company, and they are accompanied while they pack up their belongings and make their way off site. It’s a security issue.

  13. @Jordan I remember that poster!

    I was generally a good rule-follower in public; all I really got demerits for was dress code and room jobs. One semester I had extra-messy roommates and this anal retentive hall leader that would give me room job demerits almost every day usually because there were cosmetic bottles on the sink. I eventually lapsed into a sort of “learned helplessness” state and stopped putting effort into doing my room job. I almost got 75 demerits that semester in just room jobs, and what was worse was that their system sends out a letter to your parents when you get over a certain amount of demerits. My parents got the letter and were freaking out and I had to go through the stress of explaining why I had so many demerits.

    My husband was quite hated by the admin and was always having powwows with Dalton. He’s a very very hard person to intimidate and manipulate, so these powwows would turn into full-blown arguments; Dalton would try to pin some weak allegation on him and he would knock it down. He would make a good lawyer, I guess. He rarely got demerits because they couldn’t get him to “confess” to anything or peg him with anything. His senior year he was basically told to graduate, leave, and never come back.

  14. I’ll name them! I think a lot of people just have a hard time spitting it out for some reason…maybe it was all the hell, fire, and damnation spewed our way. Maybe its fear of family fall-out. Maybe it’s just paranoia or something.

    But here you go…here’s the abusive college list…the “biggies” in the IFB. (my personal opinion of course):

    Bob Jones University
    Pensacola Christian College
    Hyles Anderson College
    Northland Baptist Bible College (or “International University”)
    Ambassador Baptist Bible College
    West Coast Baptist Colleg
    Advanced Training Institutes (not really “colleges”–but you all know that)

    I may be missing a few…I think there are a total of like 35-40 colleges in the Independent Fundamental Baptist realm.

  15. “‘When he was a student, Mr. Harding traveled with a singing group that promoted Pensacola. When prospective students asked about accreditation, Mr. Harding says the singers were instructed to tell them that Harvard and Yale are not accredited, either, and so accreditation doesn’t matter.’ Do you know if that is true from PCC?”

    I attended PCC in the early ’90s, and I was told EXACTLY that my freshman year (the Harvard/Yale comparison). I think someone said it from the pulpit in chapel, but the memory is vague. I do remember that I parroted that line to my parents later when they expressed some concern about PCC’s lack of accreditation (and it turns out they were a lot smarter than I was about it, as that unaccredited degree later became a problem for me that required me to enroll in grad school).

  16. I remember the famous clutter poster. I believe I was one of the first doors to have it taped on. Being a gigantic pussy, however, I reacted meekly when the hall leader removed it.

    I worked for one summer at BJU and took great advantage of the fact that most of the rules were unwritten. My current love for movies was bred from a summer of raiding the Greenville Library’s DVD collection. I found out at one point that they were having a mass meeting to spell out some of the restrictions. I skipped it. Much better to not know what was forbidden and keep my conscience a little clearer. I think I spent that time watching Tim Burton’s “Batman” for the first time in an empty Brokenshire dorm room.

  17. “‘When he was a student, Mr. Harding traveled with a singing group that promoted Pensacola. When prospective students asked about accreditation, Mr. Harding says the singers were instructed to tell them that Harvard and Yale are not accredited, either, and so accreditation doesn’t matter.’ Do you know if that is true from PCC?”


    “I attended PCC in the early ’90s, and I was told EXACTLY that my freshman year (the Harvard/Yale comparison). I think someone said it from the pulpit in chapel, but the memory is vague. I do remember that I parroted that line to my parents later when they expressed some concern about PCC’s lack of accreditation (and it turns out they were a lot smarter than I was about it, as that unaccredited degree later became a problem for me that required me to enroll in grad school).”

    PCC was spreading such lies!!

    Of course, Harvard and Yale were (and are) accredited….and have been so for a very, very long time.

    Such dishonesty!

  18. I believe I was one of the first doors to have it taped on.

    You are correct, sir–you were one of the first people I sent it to. 😀

    @grace2live: You’re right about “shadowing” at BJ. I only ever heard the term used to describe the tail a student picked up after they’d been shipped, which stuck with them until they left campus. The apocryphal story I heard about the origin of shadowing was that “some Acad kid” who got shipped took a chainsaw to every tree he could until someone stopped him.

  19. I’m going to add to Jocelyn Zichterman’s list:

    Any college in the so-called “Hyles network”. This includes but is not limited to:

    Golden State Baptist
    Oklahoma Baptist
    Texas Baptist

    And a very pedantic, militant, overbearing IFB college that seems to fly under the radar is Fairhaven Baptist.

  20. I believe BJU was using the Harvard and Yale not being accredited line in the 70’s, also.

    Also, as a rule, stay away from any school that isn’t regionally accredited. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches later in life.

    And, Victor, feel the love – the ex-fundy love.

  21. Yeah…those are *Baptist* colleges…but not IFB ones. The IFB ones believe in the “doctrine of separation” —which means they think the majority of those colleges on that list are “liberal” and “compromising” —and that you’d be “in sin” to accept their philosophy. THAT’S what makes these other “collegs” cults—-and the IFB a cult as a whole.

    Even my husband is currently the pastor of a Baptist church in the “Conservative Baptist” denomination (over 100 Baptist denominations in the country) and he was kicked out of the “boys club” of the IFB a loooooong ago. Because he denied his Christian faith??? Nope….but because he decided he didn’t buy into this idea of “separation” anymore.

    So, there’s a BIG difference….one set of “baptists” are “normal” (somewhat:)—and the others (what this blog is about) are just QUACKS. So when I say 35-40—-I’m referring to the QUACKS.:):)

  22. And oops…I guess I should have said that list does not include *all* the IFB ones. But then it has Baylor on it…LOL…that would be a BIG problem in the IFB. Because we all know those people aren’t even Christians.

  23. I’ll add a college to the list:

    Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City. I went to Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College(PCBBC) that was in Southern CA. It has since closed it’s doors due to the typical fundy in fighting. Apparently they couldn’t work their differences out so some pastors decided to make the college anew in OK. New name, same ole “fundy” ways!

  24. I will point out that Pensacola Christian College and Bob Jones University bill themselves as “non-denominational”. That was one of the reasons I elected to attend PCC, as I was sick of IFB restrictions. I thought PCC might have a more tolerant atmosphere.

  25. Yeah…they say that. And then TEACH something completely different. Such LIARS they are! Even when ABC called BJU recently, their line was that they were “non-denominational.” We all just laughed! Like they try to fool the outside…but on the inside you know EXACTLY what they think and teach. What LIARS! And we just bought it (our family)…hook, line, and sinker.

  26. I spent last year at Bob Jones, and was incredibly thankful for my roommate that I watched Family Guy with, my APC that minded his own business, my PC that talked about listening to the Black Eyed Peas, my RA that was in the room while we were watching “Dodgeball,” and a Dorm Sup and Counselor that were legitimately nice guys.

    Oh, and we openly swore in society.

  27. Well, see, in a NORMAL college—you could do those things and not have to fly under the radar and not be considered a “rebel.” What you actually did was live LIFE. Wow. LOL! And compare that to the dating parlor filled with couches…where you can STARE at your girlfriend…HAHAHA! The irony.

  28. Oh yes, how could we forget about Fairhaven! I lasted for about two months. When I called my parents and told them they needed to come get me out of the crazy place I was immediately cut short on my phone conversation and lectured by my PC and later the Dean of Women and Dean of Students out of concern for my soul. When my parents came to get me they also had to endure the “counseling” before they were even allowed to see me. When you go to that crazy place you literally give up your life to them. One of my greatest memories is from dorm devotions when the Dean of Women was giving her testimony and said, “I never thought of myself as a sinner. I never killed anyone, but I did wear pants once.”

  29. And then there are the cover ups.

    When something happens that will “tarnish” their squeaky cleam image, it must be repressed.

    Better to send home both the perp and the victim IMMEDIATELY than to have documentation of the crime (via police investigations, interviews, court hearings, etc.).

    After all, nothing bad can happen to your kids at such a find fundy college. Stuff like that only happens at those dangerous secular colleges.

    Yeah, right.

  30. Speaking of crime and music, while I’m aware that blatantly evil music like that of Steve Green and Casting Crowns is banned, what do they do with spicy (musically speaking) music from the 20th century. Is music by composers like Bartok, Stravinsky, Poulenc, Messiaen, etc. banned also?

  31. I feel like I should thank gid I was raised by agnostic parents who would never try to send me to a school like the ones everyone here is talking about.

  32. I was called to the Discipline Commitee once (that is ONCE in two years). It seems I had failed to appear before them earlier in the month. Since I never was on the list, I never checked it. So, bearing my notice in hand, I stood in the D.C. line like a convicted criminal awaiting sentence. When I appeared before the bar (comprised of two immature G.A.’s), I was told I had been originally summoned to D.C. for skipping a class. Long story short, I was soon cleared of the bookkeeper’s error, and vindicated in my version of the story. However, I received 5 demerits for failing to appear to D.C. at the first notice. I was so mad I could have choked (them or me, I didn’t care which). Proves they had a good understanding of justice and the use of the law.

  33. Undergrad punishment story:
    My senior year I was socialed by a security guard for talking to a guy on the steps of the auditorium at around 4.25. Had we been standing across the street? No problem. I am afraid I was not cool with being socialed and displayed my stubbornness and rebellion to the security guard. Later I felt badly since he wasn’t one of the douchey ones; I think he was probably sent over by a cam watcher. At any rate, I took my senior recruitment name tag, turned the paper over, wrote “UNCLEAN! Boys may not talk to me” on it, pinned on the back pocket of my backpack, and wore it around the entire week. Including into the Dean of Women’s office. She never said a word about it. haha. Actually, at that point, I had been to talk to her about several completely non-disciplinary things, so I suppose I had a little leeway. (Side note: After living for two years as a grad student on the same floor as her, I gained a bit of perspective on her that I never had as an undergrad. I suspected she wasn’t completely happy with her job or who she had had to become to do it. But that’s a different subject entirely.)

    Graduate student punishment story:
    The first year I was in grad school, my roommate and myself went to the beach taking with us another grad student from our department. Now, my roommate and I checked the staff/faculty handbook very, very carefully and discovered that not only did the handbook permit staff and faculty to go to Pensacola Beach (even single females), it was incredibly vague on all the details about what that entailed. So, we went left at the fork and went down Pensacola Beach almost to the “this is where the college boys are supposed to go part.” Of course, there were any number of guys who had braved the risks of potential sticker check to not go all the way down to Navarre. haha. Well, we spent the day there, tagalong even hung out with and played frisbee with a few of the guy students (gasp), and we returned. Tagalong starts to feel like maybe we shouldn’t have gone there, that we should have gone right and gone down to Fort Pickens like good single girls. We assure her we checked the handbook, and it’s fine. She definitely went up to Grad Student Enforcer’s office (otherwise know, IIRC, as Mr. Hicks–not the teacher) and “turned herself in”…for something we didn’t do wrong. Of course, now it was wrong. Both my roommate and I were called up separately into his office. Both of us clearly explained that the handbook expressly said the Pensacola Beach was fine. Both of us were made to feel like some kind of borderline rebels for wanting to go there in the first place instead of nice Ft. Pickens (where you have to pay). Finally, he had to sort-of admit that we were right, but then strongly “encouraged” us to go to the Ft. Pickens side of Pensacola Beach if we had to go there. While I was up there, he also took the time to berate me for not filling out and turning in my Sunday school attendance slips in ADULT CAMPUS CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES. We had already been banned from the 23+ class. After that, I just put that I went home 3 out of 4 weekends so I could either go to church or not as I felt moved.

  34. When I was a Junior at Piedmont Baptist College in North Carolina, ( I was finally living on my own away from Mom and decided to get the pet Mom would never let me have, a ferret. I happened to be taking an Intro to Computers class (aka “How to Make a Slide Show on PowerPoint”) and during some free time I visited a website devoted to caring for non-traditional pets. The website was, which apparently no longer exists. I didn’t notice anything unusual about the site, but my Dean did. The “sex” letter combination in the website really got his attention.
    He banged on my classroom door while I was in the middle of a Greek exam and told the professor I was needed immediately. He escorted me back to his office.
    “I’ve got you son.”
    “I’ve got you looking at porn!”
    “On (fill in date) and (fill in time) I have a log of you visiting a porn site.”

    He pronounced the website “Sex-tique. Like a boutique, but more scandalous. I looked at the name of the website and laughed at him. I explained the true nature of the site. Not easily defeated, he tried again.

    “What about this site, PayPal?” He was apparently under the impression that PayPal was a site where you pay, and get a pal. A sex pal of course.

    After I explained the nature of PayPal, the Dean had me pull up to prove it wasn’t porn. To my horror, as the page slowly loaded from top to bottom on our dragging internet connection, there was a picture of a hamster standing on his hind legs with all fours spread eagle, showing his little privates. It took several seconds for the rest of the page to load, showing my innocence, but I know that in those few seconds of hamster nudity, the Dean was nearly pissing himself with glee for having caught the school’s first ever zoophile.

  35. My husband is still upset about that internet thing and about the time that my husband quoted a fact in his college level paper and the prof let his HS son read it and the son said that A.P. got a fact wrong, so instead of checking it, the prof lessened his grade for it and turns out A.P. had it right, but never received a grade change.

    The worst part of his above story is that there were people there who were really struggling with serious porn addictions some of them 7 years later are still struggling but they were too busy trying to pin things on people they didn’t like than taking time to notice actual problems.

  36. Yes, yes. They most certainly have night time questionings at BJU. I endured quite a few. They were quite concerned when I had been so bold as to request that a transcript to be sent to a heathen school during my sophomore year so I could transfer the next year…but no fear. Nobody would accept my credits. And then there were the questionings about my roomies. ONe of those turned out to be exciting because I got to swear for the dorm sup…giving an account of an incident where another girl got a little mad. The dorm sup. asked if I wanted to write the words down so I didn’t have to say them LOL…And there was the time that my car was reported missing from the parking lot on Sunday morning. I was one of those devious kids who went out and helped another church with their music ministry on Sunday morning instead of going to Mass. Seriously, you’ve got to get me out of bed for that? What do they do all day that this can’t be taken care of during waking hours? It wasn’t the actual questionings that annoyed me the most. It was the fact that they felt they were so important that it was absolutely essential to come and get me out of bed and beat me down at a time when I was SO tired and had no more physical or mental energy to spend. I spent many a night crying myself to sleep in the hall way…and if anybody found me I would just act like I sleep walked there. LOL

    @Josh – on the ‘peppy’ music issue, as long as it was written by a ‘classical’ composer, it was fine. We even got to listen to some of that evil devil music for class a time or two…you know, for our education sake 😉 Although, I think my pirated copy of West Side Story got confiscated. But that was because it was a copy…not because the dorm sup actually knew who Leonard Bernstein was.

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