BY: NICOLE VERNON
Brenau University was founded as the Georgia Baptist Female Seminary in 1878. Brenau prides itself in educating women for 137 years. Male students weren’t admitted until the early 1970s. The Brenau Academy was a school solely dedicated to educating female high school students with quality college prep classes until the Board of Trustees voted to close the school in 2010. However, the Women’s College is part of the Undergraduate school that is devoted to educating only women, or is it?
Many students and parents arrive on the campus of the Women’s College in the fall expecting to see nothing but women getting settled in through all of the hustle and bustle. That vision gets busted when they notice that there is a small percentage of males who not only take daytime classes, but they also have a meal plan and live on campus.
I have no problem with Brenau educating both men and women. I do have a problem with specifically the tradition of the Women’s College being threatened by the increasing attendance of males. In a time where the legacy of Women’s Colleges across the country are being shut down, the few that are left should be protected. They are sacred and full of tradition which should be preserved now more than ever. Why not expand and build a separate co-ed campus? Prospective students and their parents would understand that it is a separate campus that is designed to host and educate both men and women. Males being residential students at the Women’s College Campus contradicts what the Women’s College is all about.
Males attending the Women’s college also creates a gray area within the campus curfews for male visitors. The current visitor policy for males is that they must be out of the residential dorm rooms by midnight. They must also be off of the entire campus by 2 a.m. If the Women’s College allows male students to live on campus, one might argue that the policy for male visitors is not fair. Maybe the curfew should be changed to male guest being able to stay without curfew on the weekends. I understand that the policy was created based off of campus security, but is it fair for a male student to be in the dorm room of a colleague at 2 a.m. studying while someone else’s male guest has to leave the campus otherwise be escorted out by campus security?
I have nothing but good things to say about the guys that are currently living on campus. They are well-mannered gentlemen who are devoted to their studies. I am just pointing out that the natural attraction that they can cause with some of us females can lead to being a distraction from our studies. Some of us women came to Brenau simply so we could get away from the distractions of having male students inside of the classroom.
I hope discussions are sparked all across campus about this matter. After all, how do you envision Brenau 20 years from now? Do you see a campus that assembles and educates nothing less than extraordinary women by transforming them as gold refined by fire? Or do you see a campus that encourages men and women to excel within their career by pursuing their higher education?