Piedmont College - Yonahian Yearbook (Demorest, GA)

 - Class of 1979

Page 7 of 152

 

Piedmont College - Yonahian Yearbook (Demorest, GA) online yearbook collection, 1979 Edition, Page 7
Page 7



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THE PRESIDENT ' S LETTER By James E. Walter In traveling recently among our friends in the churches of Florida and California, I have been asked if hazing is permitted at Piedmont College. My reply is an unequivical NO. In 1949, I decided to end this practice of treating freshmen and pledges to fraternities and sororities as inferiors for a season, and then embracing them later as brothers and sisters beloved and equal. These inquiries of friends flow from the national radio and television campaign that has been launched to end all physical and mental hazing on college and university properties. The mother who lost a 19-year-old son in a fraternity initiation at an university of 1500 students in New York has called this problem to the attention of our nation. She discovered that her son was not the only college student in America who lost his life as a result of " the ancient and honorable methods of making men out of boys, and real women out of little girls. " The incident in 1949 that triggered my own thinking and action on this subject was the dropping of a Piedmont freshman in the mountain woods twenty miles from campus with only shorts and shoes. By morning he had a deep cold that cost him several days of college that week and a deep psychological scar that cost him a college degree. I got to wondering how the rattlesnakes in that wooded area might have reacted in natural defense to the midnight invaders of their domain. Rather than wait further for tragedy, I determined that physical and mental hazing were not appropriate, intelligent, or moral pleasures for students or faculty in a church-related college. Thus we substituted Field Day athletic contests of a sportsmanship character for these degrading and dangerous peer pressures of hazing. This year, under the direction of the Student Government Association, two Field Days were held, one in the fall and one in the spring. The Sophomore and Senior classes were victorious by a narrow margin in the fall, but the Freshman and Junior classes made it even by having the higher score in the spring. Some of the favorite events of competition were the Softball games, baseball throw for accuracy, three-legged races and dodge ball. I feel a special debt of gratitude to the officers of the student Government Association. I am understandably proud of Martha Kelly, President; Wendy Hawks, Vice President; Stacy Gordon, Secretary-Treasurer; Brenda Cates, Senior Representative; Tim Cagle, Junior Representative; Jon Cantrell, Sophomore Representative; and Mitch Beckman, Freshman Representative. I believe that our NO Hazing policy at Piedmont College is a practical reflection of our belief in the Biblical teaching that the body is a temple of God. I think it is more reflective of our belief in the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God to have Literary Society members march together - freshmen, pledges, and officers - all 85 miles to Atlanta to gather gifts for the cancer fund. Doing something constructive on an equal basis appeals to me as being much more mature than inflicting demeaning tasks on the initiates, for the pleasure or self-aggrandizement of commanding officers of upperclassmen or a fraternal society. Likewise our policies of free tutoring for all who need and request academic assistance reflect our genuine concern for the welfare of every individual. The Bible stories of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son all provide inspiration for finding practical and significant ways of supporting our best efforts to help young people to be their best selves " to know the truth, the truth shall make you free " , under God.

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