The Demerit Wall of Shame

Necessary background Info: For being a Christian college Calvin is pretty much an oddball. No dress code, no required chapel attendance, no pledge that we will abstain from such sins as dancing, holding hands or watching movies…heck, we don’t even have a curfew! This causes quite a bit of consternation with our neighbors. Many over at Cornerstone feel that we are all backslidden and such because you can visit a person of the opposite sex in their one-campus apartment all day everyday (we are heathens for expecting some self control, I guess).

How do we define our boundaries in our everyday lives then? In an overused phrase overheard at Calvin: Responsible Freedom. Some take this to mean the responsibility to let someone else dictate how they ought to live (and the usually end up transferring to a stricter college) and others take this to mean the freedom to poke fun at anything they damn well please.

If you don’t know by now (and if you don’t then you can be sure that we have never met in person), I am of the latter group.

The Demerit Wall of Shame’s beginnings: One night I stumbled upon a list of rules from Pensacola Christian College. I found them hilarious and read them to my roommate who thought that they were hilarious also. We found whoever else was up at 2 AM (I told you we were heathens with no curfews) on our floor and read the list to them. We then took bets on how long it would take each of us to get kicked out. My roommate, we figured, would survive the longest: 2 weeks and I would last the shortest amount of time: 10 minutes (though some postulated that it might be quicker if they tried to take away my metal music sooner rather than later).

We then organized a contest.

The rules: None of us (or any of our floormates who were obliviously slumbering away) would radically change our behaviors during the upcoming week and we would post the list of rules I had found in the hallway. Each person could give another a demerit if they saw fit, but only after reading them the rule which they had broken. And we decided that it was rather unfair (and an invasion of personal space) to go into other’s rooms, but narcing on your roommate was fine. The one with the most demerits at the end of the week won.

Printing that list killed my printing quota for that semester.

How it went: We got each other most often for wearing pants in the dorm, breaking lights out, not wearing socks with shoes and going barefoot (with my cussing getting an honorable mention for being the greatest individual sin). Our RA was seriously worried about leaving her room when we were in the hall and many of our floormates were either confused by it or used their responsible freedom to ignore us.

The Winner: I was in the lead (thanks to my navy-ready vocabulary) up until I went to a weekend long horseshow. Jo, I believe, was declared the winner.


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