Chapel makeup pile-ups may end for good


Photo by Mike Villa

Tuesday, Sept. 2 was the final day to turn in last semester’s chapel make-ups. Students lined up outside of Student Services, forms in hand, to get their chapel credits.

By Brittany McComb

The large lines and crowds during chapel seem to belie the real truth of chapel culture on campus — that is, that students just aren’t getting them done.

Hundreds of students formed a very different kind of line outside of Student Services on Tuesday, the last day to turn in chapel makeups from last semester.

According to Jon Wyatt, director of chapel accountability, 1,200 students were in need of such makeups. Most students who turned in chapel makeups Tuesday turned in eight or more, and roughly one in three turned in 16 or more.

If chapel accountability and spiritual development’s plan work out, though, such last-day chapel crams should be significantly reduced. In the past, students have been allotted an unlimited number of chapel makeups, but this semester students must physically attend 15 chapels and four conferences. Students will be placed on chapel probation if these requirements are not met.

Wyatt said that chapel probation is essentially a second chance to attend the remainder of the 15 or more chapels missed the previous semester. It is also a warning. Students must attend the required 15 chapels the semester following their breach of the new rules. If not, the student will not be allowed to register for classes the following semester.

Part-time students will be required to attend 10 chapels and three conferences, and commuters, as in the past, will be given exceptions to the rules on a case-by-case basis, according to chapel accountability’s Biola website.

Along with the new attendance requirements, makeups should be due much earlier than they have been in the past, Wyatt said. This semester’s make-ups will be due Jan. 6, which means students must take care of them almost a month before arriving back on campus for the spring semester.

Wyatt said the large amount of chapel make-ups being turned in goes deeper than just long nights for students and a hassle for his office.

“Chapel’s a big priority for Biola,” said Wyatt. “When you are listening to chapels on iTunes at chipmunk speed, you are not getting spiritually formed.”

He added that chapels are offered everyday except Saturday; sometimes multiple times a day when RAs or other clubs and organizations receive approval from chapel accountability to give chapel credit for an event.

Attending 15 out of roughly 250 of the chapels offered (there were 240 opportunities last semester) should not be too difficult, Wyatt said — and classes shouldn’t interfere, either.

“There shouldn’t be any classes at 9:30,” said Wyatt. “If there is, again, you can go to chapel [almost everyday],” Wyatt said.

Wyatt said Biola’s vision is to develop “mature disciples of Christ,” and worshiping within a community is an integral part of that development.

Junior Anthony Kemp, who had to turn in five chapel make-ups, said he thinks the new requirements will be positive, and will at least help him get to chapel.

“[Devotions] are good too, but there’s something to be said about communal worship and fellowship.”

Others students, though, think the new requirements may be too strict.

“I think if you have 18 units and you’re trying to make chapel, sometimes there are things that prevent it,” said senior Tim Slack. “I think at the same time it is a good thing to make sure we have more people in chapel.”

Senior Megan Tracy agrees that the changes will benefit students. She said chapel is a unique opportunity at Biola that students should take advantage of. Though she is one among the many who had to turn in chapel make-ups Tuesday, she said her perspective on chapel is changing now that she is approaching graduation.

“I think we’ll miss it once we’re gone,” she said.

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