This is an open letter written to the students of Point Loma Nazarene University from the ASB Board of Directors. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Point. Letters to the editor and opinion columns are subject to editing for length, taste, grammar and clarity. Any content provided by our op-ed contributors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual.
Hello fellow PLNU students,
As the ASB Board of Directors, we want to acknowledge the current division that has been brewing within our community. We are students living and learning with you at PLNU and as a board we represent a variety of backgrounds, viewpoints and experiences. With this in mind, we want to address some of the decisions we have made over the past several months. The most recent decision made has not only reached our student body but also our alumni, staff, faculty and surrounding community.
The decision to not charter TPUSA was not based on ideological beliefs or biases. There were long discussions and periods of research done by multiple directors when making the decision. Traditionally, a decision like this is solely up to the Director of Student Relations as stated in Article 1, Section 1.03, Part B, Item C of the Official Handbook for Clubs and Societies. However, in order to avoid any personal bias, the ASB Director of Student Relations went to the Board of Directors to inform them on the possibility of this new club, discuss their documents and initiate a discussion getting various opinions on whether this club charter should be approved or not. One member expressed hesitations, and one expressed dissent, but the majority of the board supported the director’s leaning for denial, but no vote was taken during this meeting. With sufficient support, the director moved forward with the denial.
An extensive list of reasoning was presented to the student and local TPUSA representative in a meeting. The general consensus of the board, with one exception, supported the denial of the charter based on misalignment with the ASB Mission Statement as written in Article 2 of the ASB Constitution. The largest concerns were confrontational language throughout the TPUSA website and literature, TPUSA Professor Watchlist, as well as their actions of encouraging a growth in conflict rather than fostering communication. This logic would have applied to any charter request, regardless of ideological foundations of the club.
Our goal as the Board of Directors and as an ASB is to be an inclusive environment where all important ideas are represented and everyone feels as though they have a voice on this campus. We want to foster an environment that supports our students in these dialogues on many sides. One of the ways we do this is by supporting a variety of civil social activism clubs. These existing clubs include College Republicans, College Democrats, Young Americans for Freedom, Students for Life and Students for Environmental Action and Awareness. We encourage our students on campus who have a heart for these issues to get involved with these existing clubs and continue to have their voices heard. The club list is very dynamic and clubs are meant to reflect the interests of the current student body; new clubs are chartered and others get phased out every academic year.
With that being said, TPUSA may attempt to charter for the academic school year of 2021-2022. In humility, we admit our governing documents are not perfect. Moving forward, we are unanimously committed to changing the club charter denial process. This will include the Director of Student Relations to require a majority vote from the Board of Directors to deny a club.
As Christians, we are driven by one thing: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all other things are insignificant. Therefore, the decisions we make as a Board of Directors we hope will reflect this, but we admit that not all our decisions and solutions are perfect. As we finish out our terms in office, we hope to engage in meaningful conversation with our student body. We are students just like you and care so deeply for this community. It has been a powerful experience to serve and represent you in such an unprecedented year. We continue to pray that we finish this semester unified.
Your ASB 2020-2021 Board of Directors
ASB President – Nash Manker
ASB Vice President – Caleb Pak
ASB Director of Finance – Caleb Crist
ASB Executive Secretary – Emily Sweeney
ASB Director of Activities & Marketing – Colin Mowers
ASB Director of Student Relations – Jenna Moses
ASB Director of Spiritual Life – Hadley Halbert
ASB Director of School Spirit – Ryland Lofto
ASB Mission Statement: “The purposes of ASB shall be (a) to provide for meaningful, student-sponsored educational, social, cultural, religious, and service opportunities for member students; (b) to foster constructive communication and interaction between the members and the administration and faculty; (c) to foster good relations between ASB members and the university’s surrounding community; (d) to establish rapport with other student associations with similar objectives; and (e) to provide opportunities for members to develop leadership qualities.”
By: The 2020-2021 ASB Board of Directors