Nay: Just Pop the Bubble!
Northwest University strives to create an on-campus community for students but at a high cost. Although NU works with good intentions, it creates a lifestyle that is harmful for students.
I had the opportunity to discuss the question, “Should we pop the Northwest Bubble?” with a variety of NU students, and almost all of them agreed that we should.
Many felt that the bubble doesn’t adequately prepare students for the real world. Our society is filled with harsh realities, and Northwest does its students a disservice by sheltering them from that truth. Rather than hiding the students away from the evils of the world, Northwest should encourage students to seek to understand the world as it truly is while they still call NU’s positive environment home. That way, the progression into the world isn’t so abrupt.
I spoke with some NU alumni who expressed their shock upon entering the working world. They had been hired right after graduation and didn’t expect the workforce to be so cutthroat. Most of them felt that if Northwest had been more actively involved in the surrounding community and encouraged more students to explore real jobs, they would have stood a better chance.
Additionally, other students I spoke with felt that the NU bubble distracts students from outreach and local missions. Students can get sucked into the surreal, on-campus community. They grow so comfortable with the simplicity of its blissful ignorance that they don’t ever stray from the bubble. I talked to some students who said they barely even leave campus during the school year. God has called us to go out into the world, preaching the gospel, but many students would rather stay in their dorm rooms.
Finally, it creates on-campus ignorance. In previous years, different members of the administration had requested that the Talon only report news related to Northwest and to ignore all other news. This prevented students from being participants in society. Furthermore, it taught students not to pay attention to current events. In the bubble, students learn only to pay attention to their immediate community and ignore all others. Christians should be at the forefront of community activity not hidden away in their homes.
I understand that Northwest means well by putting so much emphasis on community. However, they are teaching students to separate themselves from a world that needs them and, even more importantly, a world that desperately needs Jesus.
Yay: Preserving our Integrity
We all come to this school to live in a pure, Christian environment, so why would we pop the so-called bubble and ruin it? Northwest University provides us with a safe place to live and practice our faith, and students should do everything they can to preserve it for those who want it. Many students come to Northwest University because of its tightly knit community, and campus residents have a responsibility to uphold it.
Northwest University students are provided with many different ways to build community. They share housing, eat together at The Caf, worship together in chapel, and participate in athletic and recreational activities together. NUSG puts on frequent events for us to enjoy (including a recent showing of Monster’s University after a women’s volleyball game). The creation of a “bubble” isn’t just good; it’s natural.
“I like knowing that I can find a Christian partner. You can never be sure, but if I meet a girl, I can be pretty confident that she has the same faith as me,” said one underclassman. Northwest’s ‘ring by spring’ reputation, as much as students joke about it, is actually a major draw for prospective students looking for a Christian partner. Popping the bubble could easily serve to dilute that image.
Another student proudly stated, “I’ll never have to worry about drug abuse or wild parties on campus!” Getting rid of Northwest’s largely self-contained community would encourage non-students to visit the campus to see friends, and these people might not be aware of (or bound by) the school’s lifestyle policies and contract. Many of them would likely bring in substances banned on campus and ruin the atmosphere Northwest is known for.
Many people—upperclassman and off-campus students especially—may grow tired of the bubble, but nobody is stopping them from leaving campus. Northwest’s closed nature is an important part of what makes it special and draws students in. Preserving it isn’t just about moral integrity; it’s about keeping this school special.