Thursday, August 14, 2014

To Whom It May Concern

Hi friends, peers, etc:
I have been pretty vocal about my feelings about Azusa Pacific University, but the following is a letter that I wrote a few months ago intended for the President that I feel best summarizes the discrimination I feel I encountered at the school. I realize many of my peers had a great experience, one without prejudice and disappointment, and for that, I am truly happy for you! Unfortunately, I believe I just received bad luck with most of the "mentors," teachers, and other staff members I encountered. However, I am very thankful for the college education I have received, and for those few teachers I had that truly taught and lived with the motto of "God First." Thanks!

To Whom It May Concern:

The very first issue of our school paper in September 2013 presented an article of celebration that stated for the first time, Azusa Pacific University's freshmen class had a majority of minority students. I was confused as to why this was such news-breaking information--I wondered why it mattered what race or nationality any of we students were. APU says they support diversity because it reflects what Heaven will look like; however, I disagree. In Heaven, we won't see skin color and differences--we will see the most important similarity of all: a shared belief in our Savior.

Likewise, when I look at people on campus, I see them as unique individuals with distinct personalities--my view of people has NOTHING to do with their skin color. I have noticed the majority of people on campus promoting this increase in "diversity," that is, segmenting others based on their race or national origin, and saying this kind of segmenting of people is long overdue. In doing so, they are hurting and confusing those who happen to fall in what they perceive as the "majority." I have encountered this reverse racism throughout my four years at APU, starting with my freshmen year in my dorm. My RA required my hall to watch a video called "A Girl Like Me," in which black females are interviewed about the difficulties of being black. Afterwards, my RA asked my hall who felt bad for being white--every single person on my hall (about 30 total) raised their hands, with the exception of me and my good friend. I was shocked. I immediately thought to myself, "GOD MADE ME THIS WAY!" It occurred to me at that moment, that the dream Martin Luther King Jr. had spoken of decades ago has still not been accomplished--it has gone in the opposite direction. King said he had a dream that his children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

As I look around and think of the great friends I have made at APU, I think of how I view them, and it has nothing to do with their skin color. Unfortunately, the administration's obsession with obtaining more "diversity" creates a conflict with Christianity, as Jesus does not look at appearances. God looks at our hearts and our character. When Christian schools stop adapting to political pressures of society and stop trying to reach a "perfect number" of minority students, THEN our school will be trying to achieve what Heaven will look like: a place that does not look at the color of its students' skin and their appearances, but rather focuses on what Jesus looks at--the heart.

I recognize that this goal of "diversity" stems from the demands of leftist politics, something that has infiltrated every facet of most college campuses today. I witnessed the liberal political beliefs in most of my classes, from many of my teachers, and from the majority of my peers. Typically, this would not bother me, as I attended public schools my whole life and the majority of my extended family is liberal--I'm used to disagreeing with others when it comes to policy and politics. However, burying myself in debt to attend a theoretically Christian university to hear my teachers joke and talk about how Mitt Romney was awful during the 2012 presidential election during class and hearing peers say conservatives are evil because they don't believe homosexuals should be allowed to be married was truly troubling.

The administration’s decisions also clearly depict a more left-wing liberal institution than they represent to our supporters and our Board. This past semester (Spring 2014), APU decided to not allow Charles Murray to speak at chapel, even though it had been on the calendar for months--supposedly because he might offend black students because of things he has written. This is extremely concerning to me, especially because my graduation speaker for December 2013 was Susan Bonilla, an alumn of APU and a democratic assembly woman who supports abortion and gay marriage (among other things that I disagree with and that contradict the Bible). It was shocking to hear the president of the school, Jon Wallace, say that Bonilla stood for what APU stood for as he introduced her. Additionally, her beliefs were never addressed. I had researched her before my commencement took place to see which way she voted on important issues (like ALL college students should do). I was offended, but it confirmed what I had learned from the very beginning of my time at APU--regardless of the religion a university may claim, being politically correct is often more important than being biblically correct. I pray that the administration, the professors, and the students will truly be reminded of and encouraged to seek out what it means to support the motto of "God First."

Thank you,
Kaylee Hunter

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