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George Dufour English Comp. 1 Mr. Harrell 16 October 2013 Should I go to a Strict Conservative or Liberal College? Say it is time for one to pick a college that one is interested in, and doesnt know whether to pick a strict conservative college like Liberty or maybe they want a liberal college like Brown. Now, if one has read The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinners Semester at Americas Holiest University by Kevin Roose, then they would know that Liberty University is a very strict conservative college where one needs to follow the Liberty Way or one might get expelled; where on the contrast Brown University is a very easy going liberal college. Ultimately, the reader will learn what the benefits of higher learning are at a general college, at a strict conservative college, and at a liberal college. A basic secular college offers students with the normal college experience. Roose explains what Brown University is like compared to Liberty, Liberty was founded as a conservative Christian utopia, and by those standards, Brown, with its free spirited student body, its grades- optional academic scene, and its active chapter of the Young Communist League, is a notch or two above Sodom and Gomorrah. (Roose 6). Higher learning has become a staple in todays society because of the ever changing world in which we live. Just twenty years ago, most people didnt even need a college degree to get a well paying job and to be able to support ones family. Now a days with gas costing almost four dollars a gallon people need to have a higher

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degree so they can pay just for the gas alone it seems. Not to mention, if that person has a family then he definitely needs a college degree because the cost of everything is going up. So the benefits of going off to college and earning a degree is quite simply to make sure that one can support his or her family in the future. Because the way its looking now, it doesnt look like it will get much better in the future. Overall, the benefits of going to a basic college compared to a college like liberty or brown is that you will get the college life that you always hear about; parties on the weekends, football games, and so on. The downfall however is that one might be distracted from the most important part of going off to college, which is getting a higher education to support oneself down the road. The benefits by going to a strict conservative college might actually be better than going to a normal university or even a liberal university. At Liberty they have a forty- six page handbook that lays out the rules and regulations of the university. Even know that seems like a lot of rules to follow, once a student has been integrated into the system they are quite easy to follow. For example, when attending Liberty University if one is caught, Spending the night with a person of the opposite sex it is 30 reprimands, a 500 dollar fine, and 30 hours of community service (Roose 2). The reason for this rule is that they want to make sure there are no sexual experimentations going on while the students are attending this very strict university. Also, the motto of this school is that they are training champions of Christ. In Christs eyes, having sex is against his morals; thus, the staff at Liberty must follow those rules and enforce them in the Liberty Way handbook. This helps the students train in the eyes of Christ, as well as helps them stay focused on getting a degree and planning for the future rather than planning on what girl they are going to sleep with next Friday night. So even though this college might seem like a prison for some, in all actuality it is just helping students to stay focused on their

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schoolwork and not other things like partying or having sex. And all Liberty University has to do, is say that if one follows this set of rules that they will become champions of Christ. One thing that might be a downfall of going to liberty rather than going to a secular college or liberal college like Brown is that while attending Liberty, one might become over educated beyond ones obedience. One of the campus pastors had this to say about Libertys students on their education, I just want to say this, Liberty students. My biggest worry about you, about all of you, is that youll become educated beyond your obedience. (Roose 248). What the pastor is trying to say is that they will learn too much about religion at this school. They will become so educated about the way of Christ that they might find it childish to follow this religion anymore. For example, the slaves had no idea that what was going on with them was wrong. They couldnt read or write so they had no way of telling that what they were being forced to do was slavery. They just thought it was the norm. but when they started to read and write they found out how bad they had it. They found out that what they were being forced to do was wrong and they started a revolt against it. The same thing goes for the students at Liberty. If they become too educated on the way of Christ they might choose to stop believing and stop following his way all together. After looking at the benefits of a higher education at a basic college, and at a strict conservative college, now lets look at the benefits of going to a liberal college like Brown University. Roose went to brown university before he wanted to adventure on over to Liberty and see what it was like over there. As Liberty makes sure that one follows the way of Christ by following the Liberty Way, Brown lets students enjoy the free spirit and makes going to class and getting grades as an optional choice of going to college. Now thats fine if a college wants to do that and Im sure it sounds fun and what not but in a way one has to think in the back of their

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mind that how are these students getting the proper education to succeed in the fast pace and modern society of todays world. Some students cant handle this but, the students who are mature enough might know how to balance the school workload and the free spiritedness of Browns easy going campus life. If someone went to Liberty and tried doing that they would immediately be disciplined for not following the Liberty way. So, that is why Roose as to change a little bit while attending Liberty. Also Roose has to change somewhat to make sure he isnt sniffed out by the Liberty students. After Roose settles back in at Brown he still sometimes has flashbacks from his experiences at liberty. For example, Every time the bible comes up in one of my Brown classes, Im transported in a flashback to Demoss Hall. (Roose 307). Even though he has been back at brown for a good amount of time he still has that notion of Liberty in the back of his head. This is what his parents and his one friend Laura feared would happen. They feared that he would be forever changed once he went to Liberty and then tried to come back to secular college and erase what he had experienced at Liberty. Now granted he didnt change completely, and his views arent changed but he still has flashbacks from his time spent at Liberty. But its still the fact that he went to Liberty saw what they do there and then adopted some of that culture as his own. For instance, he kneels and prays every night before he goes to bed. Thats something that he wouldve never done before he went to Liberty. But now that he has been a part of that culture for an extended period of time he has gotten use to the ritual and does it naturally. In essence, a normal university is a university whose rules dont revolve around the way of Christ or give the students a completely optional choice of how they will learn and be graded. At liberty, students are required to follow the way of Christ, and at Brown they are given the choice to have a grades optional academic experience. But, for a normal university a student has

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to go to class and get good grades in order to pass and graduate with a degree. However, they dont have to worry about following the way of Christ. They can go out and party on a Friday night and sleep with whoever they want without worrying about the ramifications of their decisions. So I would say the difference between the universities is quite clear. We have uncovered the truth about a higher education at a basic college, a strict conservative college, and a liberal college. As we found out a general college or university offers some of the most basic rules and regulations that offer students the ability to get some form of a degree and be successful in life while balancing the norms of going to a secular college. Do I go home and study for this exam coming up or go to this party on Friday night? Thats the question that most college students ask themselves. However, students seeking the college life that one sees on TV shows and movies should choose to go to a secular college or university like Ohio University, The University of Akron, and etc. The students at Liberty University are not allowed to go to any parties and if they do go to a party they risk being expelled from this evangelical college. These students are offered an education through Christ and through his morals and ways. These students get a good form of education but arent allowed to express themselves if expressing themselves is breaking the Liberty Way. And at Brown University the students have an easy going college experience where they can find out who they really are as individuals and not have to worry so much about making the grade. This however poses a threat for some, because they might not be able to get the education required for living in todays society. So the real question one has to ask his or herself is, should I go to a college or university that is most like a college one sees on a TV show, a college where one must follow the rules and teachings of God, or one where I go to find out about who I am as a person and not worry about grades or following in Gods footsteps.

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Work Cited Roose, Kevin. The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University. New York: Grand Central, 2009. Print.