The Covenant for Life Together calls each person in the Bethel University community to work toward becoming a whole and holy person. That commitment requires that we use discretion and think carefully about the choices we make as individuals and the opportunities we offer as a community. Dances at Bethel or at Bethel-sponsored events must be in harmony with the Bethel covenant and guided by biblical principles.
We believe that dance can be compatible with Bethel’s mission and its covenant. Dances held at Bethel, or at a Bethel-sponsored function, require careful consideration of music, movement, and atmosphere. We are committed to holding dances that are appropriate to the values of the institution and congruent with our emphasis on becoming 16 whole and holy persons. Therefore, the following guidelines apply:
1. Music at dances, and at all Bethel functions, must be appropriate (refraining from music that is vulgar or overtly suggestive in nature) and pre-approved by Bethel student life staff along with the student leaders responsible for the dance. A Bethel approved DJ should be used for school-sponsored dances to ensure adherence to dancing guidelines.
2. Any Bethel dance, held on or off campus, must be sponsored and overseen by the Bethel Student Government (BSG). Other Bethel departments may collaborate with BSG to hold dances that are in accordance with the stated dancing policies and are approved by the staff advisor for Student Activities (SA). (Generally, not more than 10 dances, on or off campus, will be permitted in a given academic year).
3. Dances may be held only in public areas of campus and must be preapproved by the Office of Student Life. No dances may be held in nonpublic areas of residence halls.
4. Any off-campus dances should be held at establishments that either do not serve alcohol, or establishments that are closed to the public for a private Bethel event and that agree to abstain from serving alcohol during our event.
5. Each enrolled student may bring one guest to a dance with his/her Bethel ID or advance ticket purchase. Students are responsible for the behavior of guests they bring to Bethel-sponsored dances.
6. Responsibility for maintaining a Bethel-appropriate environment at a dance on or off campus is to be shared by all participants, faculty or staff chaperones, and student leaders in charge of the event. An actively involved staff advisor must be involved with the preparation for, and execution of, all Bethel dances. The staff advisor must be on site for the dance, check in with student sponsors regularly throughout the dance, and be available within minutes to respond to any situations that may arise at the dance. Large dances must have additional sponsors selected by SA members in consultation with the assistant dean of student programs. The number of sponsors will be determined by the assistant dean.
7. Dance movements and clothing must be appropriate to Bethel and not sexually suggestive. Students whose behavior at a dance is considered to be inappropriate, as judged by the responsible staff and students, will be asked to change that behavior. Students wearing clothing deemed to be inappropriate will be asked to leave and change their clothing. If students persist in the inappropriate conduct, action will be taken based on the severity of the conduct. Possible consequences include: being asked to leave the dance, being denied admission to future dances, and being accountable to the Office of Student Life with sanctions appropriate to the unacceptable behavior.
8. Dancing at Bethel may be reviewed annually by the Office of Student Life and the Bethel Student Government, and evaluated in light of the university’s mission and covenant statement.
9. Any major change in dancing policy at Bethel can be made only by approval of the President’s Cabinet.
We work together to create an environment at Bethel where dance is a welcome and wholesome social activity that appropriately reflects our Christian commitment and the Covenant for Life Together.
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