Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Vanderbilt Coliseum and the Lions

About two to three months ago....I started following this Tennessee story....the Vanderbilt University and the new policy on Christian groups at the University.  It's a curious story.

Vanderbilt, for those who aren't aware of a private university, run by the Methodist.  For most folks, it's kinda like the Harvard of the South.  They produce "winners".  When a kid signs up for's a pretty good chance that in four years....he'll still be there and will graduate.  That's something that you can't say for the University of Alabama.

The new rule change is fairly simple.  If you run a Christian club on the campus (private property), then you can't require any member of the leadership of that club to be a Christian.  That kind of boggled the mind of most Christians on campus.  They can't imagine any University putting this kind of rule out there....especially one run by a Methodist group.

I've watched the video clip of the three guys sitting there and trying to explain and lay out the policy....for everyone to just accept.  My apologies to the gentlemen.....but you were pretty lousy actors, and your explanation left a lot out for details on how you came to this decision.  So I sat and pondered over this....and came to realize what the gentlemen could not explain or talk about.

A college relies upon donations to survive....especially a private college.  Usually, the alumni are a major part of this and donate millions to ensure construction, renovation and special projects.

My belief is that around twelve to eighteen months alumni arrived with a third-party.  The alumni wanted to introduce the third-party to the leadership of Vandy.  The third-party wants to make a donation of a fair sum.  It should be suggested at this point that the third-party is not American, and not a Christian.  I'll let your mind wander at this point.

Talk between the third-party, the alumni in the meeting, and the Vandy leadership goes from point to point.  The third-party eventually suggests that he could bring more people into the donation idea from his "group".....if they weren't "SO" Christian.  You can imagine the Vandy leadership guys sitting....looking at the potential pot of money that this third-party is talking about.  They think.....that they aren't stupid (this will be proven otherwise).

So the Vandy leadership goes back to the drawing board.  If they just change a couple of rules, then they can show they aren't "SO" religious.

Days, weeks, and months pass.  The mess is now in turbo mode.  My humble guess is that out of 12k least four thousand are fairly hostile over what has occurred.  Another four thousand are leaning toward the idea of this being unfair, at the very least.  You might find 500 students who strongly think it was a wise idea of the Campus.

What happens as the leadership stands its ground?  Well....the alumni of the college start to get focused and start to dictate that their funding is now halted.  A $50k check here.....a $300k check there....a $1 million check there....gone.

Strangely enough, the third-party folks show up, and offer to help make up the loss.  The Vandy leadership feel better.  They made a good decision and can make up for their losses.

A year or two passes, and the number of students applying for Vandy decreases by thirty percent.  The third-party steps in and offers to help bring in foreign students....Muslim of the University.  The Vandy leadership is still positive about this.

Somewhere around a decade from now....the third-party now wants their folks on the leadership team of Vandy.  No one has mentioned the fair sum of international money flowing into Vandy or the number of increasing Islamic students.  So it's kind of a shock, and folks are asking for an explanation.

The Vandy leadership now realizes.....a decade after their Christian rule change....they've screwed up big-time.  Vandy isn't Vandy anymore.  They've allowed some outside interest to gain control.  Over a very short period of time.....students start to leave the university, and no alumni members will dare connect themselves to the college.

Maybe I'm wrong on my scenario.....but the lack of a explanation how you make a decision....typically means you really did something stupid and don't want to admit in public.  For those in the Vanderbilt Coliseum.....if you are've been thrown to the lions.