I received an interesting report last night from one of our students who graduated at Helderberg and is now studying at Southern Adventist University.
One of his family members is with him and she is having a hard time because she has been forced to pay a $10 fine for missing worship on two occasions.
I immediately went to browse their website and found their Residence hall handbook. I think it is worth comparing their handbook to ours. They are fundamentally the same. We definitely have the same concerns and we are all dealing with the same issues.
Here is Southern's Residence Hall handbook and here is Salisbury House's handbook.
Let me mention what stands out for me:
1. The issue of single rooms. I saw this policy on Friendensau's website as well. All rooms are provided with furniture for two students. The expectation is that you will have a roommate. If you want to have a room without a roommate the cost for renting the room becomes more (1.5 x the cost of renting a double room). I think that is a fair policy and one that could work at Helderberg. It gives you a choice in the matter.
2. I like Southern's approach to worship attendance, although there are so many small regulations to keep in mind (you only get credit for attending one worship a day etc.) But I like the choice that they give. I also like the fact that they treat mature students (over the age of 23 slightly differently to younger students.)
3. I see that Southern has taken very strong steps to ensure that students look after furniture in their rooms and that they do not move it out. Moving furniture without permission incurs quite a hefty fine. From my perspective as manager of the dormitory that is very helpful because I struggle every December to figure out what furniture belongs where.
4. I am intrigued by the fine system at Southern University. Almost every time you break a rule you get a fine. I would love to ask them how they administer that? I am also trying to figure out how many dormitory deans they have.
5. I would love to know what level of student debate there is about rules and regulations. Do students accept the rules?
I'd love to hear your comments.