By Katie Ellington, News Editor
Asbury will hold this year’s Legacy Games dance on-campus as well as two dances next school year thanks to a recent proposal from ASC and Student Development.
Baldwin, who serves as Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students, says that the president’s cabinet will review a permanent policy allowing on-campus dances after the 2016-2017 school year’s “pilot period.”
“We aren’t ready to make a handbook change, so at this point, we are trying out the policy and then reviewing it over time—therefore, the ‘pilot,’” she explained in an email. “We are piloting having two dances a year on campus through the 2016-17 school year and then will review how it is received by our community.”
This year’s Legacy Games dance and next year’s Homecoming and Legacy Games dances will be on campus. Other than that, Asbury’s policy on dancing remains the same.
“Nothing has changed officially,” said Heather Tyner, Assistant Director of Student Leadership Development. “We are using the next two all-campus dances as a safeguard to see if the change presents any gaps that would prevent dances on-campus from being uplifting and enjoyable to the student body.”
According to Baldwin, the push for on-campus dancing came from students. The Student Activities Board (SAB) suggested revisiting the dance policy and worked with Student Development and school administrators to make it happen. The proposal was created by Heather Tyner and some of the Resident Directors, who modeled after the dance policy of another Christian university. Afterwards, senior Ben Garverick, student congress’ Vice President of Student Activities, recommended a few changes and the proposal was sent to Baldwin’s office. After she approved the proposal, she took it to the president’s cabinet, which voted to approve the probationary period. After Baldwin reviewed the proposal, she brought it to the attention of Dr. Gray. A determination was made to institute the pilot period and permit two on-campus dances next year.
Baldwin, Tyner and Garverick each expressed excitement and a belief that bringing dances to campus will be a good thing for the university.
“At Asbury, we are always talking together about what makes AU a healthy, safe, holy, whole community,” said Baldwin. “My sense is that this move will help us be a better one!
Garverick and Tyner both stated that hosting dances on campus would simplify logistical issues like supervision, cost, safety and transportation.
It wasn’t until the 2012 fall semester that Asbury changed its policies to permit students to dance offcampus, so Garverick said on-campus dances seemed like the “next logical step.”
“ASC is always striving to have quality over quantity events and this is a major step towards that principle,” he said. “We are able to save money and direct the funds towards a more memorable experience for the students.
“I think it aligns more closely with what we are about as a community here: we want the campus itself to be the hub of activity and to make events as accessible as possible to as many students as possible,” Tyner added. “Creating spaces and fun opportunities for students on their “home turf” is one of the things that make a residential campus so awesome.”
While the change is currently only in effect for next school year, Tyner seems optimistic about its chance for permanent implementation.
“The review process won’t be a lengthy or complex ordeal,” she said. “If dances on campus provide safe, enjoyable, growth-inducing environments for students, then I would be hard-pressed to find a reason why [the policy] would not be upheld.”