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10.25.2004

Taylor's Obligation

In 1999, I entered Taylor University as a bright-eyed freshman. I graduated 3.5 years later with a degree in journalism, but with a diminished respect for the school and its leaders. I spent my three years on campus (with a semester in DC) working with Taylor World Outreach, Youth Conference, the admissions office, the radio station, the tv station, the Echo -- even in the dinning commons; I devoted myself to the school. In return, they expected my unending, unquestioning loyalty.

When they didn't get it, they called in their high-powered attornies from Ice Miller. The ideals of the Life Together Covenant were tossed out the window and I was treated not as someone who gave tirelessly, but as an enemy. They've decided to handle me by placing a lawyer between us; I've decided to fight their secrecy and law-mongering with the fullest disclosure I can muster.

I will document, to the best of my ability (and willingness to be vulnerable) what I experienced at Taylor and their response to me as I attempt give it meaning. My battle for records access and major concerns for student privacy will be my primary focus.

My goal in regard to Taylor has never been vengeance, but answers. Not punishment, but correction for a school that I love. Not a reprieve for myself, but help for students who may someday deal with the same things I did. My journalism professors once taught me that I have a professional responsibility to hold those in power accountable. When it comes to Taylor, I have a personal responsibility as well.

I'll end with a quote from the LTC. Hopefully Taylor's administration will remember it:

"A community such as ours can be strengthened by speaking the truth to each other with love. Problems in relationships and behavior can be resolved constructively by confronting one another in an appropriate spirit. If the welfare of the one being confronted is paramount and if the confronter is acting in love, the process can produce growth."

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