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Life Together Covenant Revision Paves Way for Some Campus Dances

By Dr. Eugene B. Habecker Published: Feb 22, 2013

At our February Board of Trustees meeting, the University Cabinet presented a proposal to our Taylor University Board to adjust the parameters of the University Expectations section of our Life Together Covenant (LTC) to allow an additional number of sanctioned dances on the Taylor University campus solely for our community. Based on that recommendation, and following discussion and prayer, the Board endorsed our recommendation, even as they improved it. Because you share this journey with us and in a variety of ways co-labor with us in God’s work here at Taylor, I want to share what this change actually involves.  

One of the fundamental aspects that “makes Taylor, Taylor” is our intentional community. Taylor is also a discipleship university – specifically, we have a distinctive incarnational, discipleship focus that is intentional about placing students, faculty and staff in face-to-face relationships that encourage people to encounter the God-image and the brokenness that is present in each one of us.

Essential to this focus on intentional community is our LTC, and it helps guide us as we seek to live more openly and authentically with one another. The LTC combines both Biblical foundations (the Biblical Responsibilities section) and practical instructions (the University Expectations section) for how our community aspires to operate. Both parts together serve us well in guiding our distinctive vision. While the Biblical Responsibilities section is foundational and remains unchanged, the University Expectations section continues to be reviewed from time to time.   

With that background, what are the changes made in the LTC? First, here is the existing language from the Entertainment and Recreation section of the LTC, that is, the language before the change. The relevant parts affected by the change have been highlighted:

“The University expects its members to use discretion and discernment in their choices of entertainment and recreation (some examples include media, Internet usage, and games). Social dancing is not permitted on or away from campus. However, acceptable forms of expression may include sanctioned folk dances, dances that are designed to worship God, dancing at weddings, and the use of choreography in drama, musical productions and athletic events.  Activities and entertainment that are of questionable value or diminish a person’s moral sensitivity should be avoided. Consideration for others and standards of good taste are important and all activities should be guided by this principle.”

Here is the revised language that shows the change:

“The University expects its mem­bers to use discretion and discernment in their choices of entertainment and recreation (some examples include media, Internet usage, and games). Each year, Student Development may sponsor a limited number of on-campus dances for the campus community. The University also considers the following forms of dance as acceptable for the campus community: sanctioned folk dances, dances that are designed to worship God, dancing at weddings, and the use of appropriate choreography in drama, musical productions and athletic events. In order to preserve and enhance our intentional community, other social dancing is not permitted on or away from campus. Activities and en­tertain­ment that are of questionable value or dimin­ish a per­son's moral sensitivity should be avoided. Consideration for others and stan­dards of good taste are important, and all activities should be guided by this princi­ple.”

In conclusion, we believe that having a few approved on-campus dances provide additional ways for members of our community – including for an increasingly diverse student body as well as for faculty and staff – to enhance interactions with one another. This will help us maintain and strengthen the focus of our incarnational community which we love so dearly.