Editor: I can guess your religion, background and interests


By Chris Derrett
Editor in Chief

Just kidding. Nobody can tell any of that information just from looking at a person, and from behind this keyboard I don’t even have that advantage. Unless I know you personally, I don’t know a lot about you. You’d say the same about the thousands of people you’ve never met who are also reading this.

But that doesn’t stop people from generalizing about who we are as Baylor students. They look at things such as our tuition, our location in Central Texas and our university’s history and manage to form an idea of what the Baylor student is.

When the Lariat initially met to determine the topic of this special section, it was actually Joshua Madden, a graduate student who did his undergraduate work at Kansas State, who first suggested the topic. It’s interesting that someone new to Baylor would want to find how many students matched preconceived notions.

Joshua had good reason to think Baylor students act and live a certain way; Baylor doesn’t hesitate to advertise what it stands for. We are a Christian university, which carries a set of principles that supposedly guide our student body. We are a Baptist university, which, especially in decades past, brought even more guidelines to the behavior and lifestyle expected from our students.

Understanding and serving God makes up half of the phrase on our school seal (Pro Ecclesia). Our other half reads “Pro Texana.”

The politically correct Baylor website stresses “Pro Texana” meant just Texas in the mid- 1800s and now means the entire world. But when a school’s seal says “For Texas,” you can meet a Baylor student on a campus sidewalk and take an educated guess where he or she is from.

Sometimes, though, educated guesses fall short.

You discover someone who follows a non-Christian religion or no religion at all. You might learn his or her sexual orientation isn’t what you assumed. He or she might already be married and is still working toward a degree.

Or maybe the student mirrors many of your expectations. The person could be a Nike shorts-wearing, Greek-affiliated student who frequently volunteers in the Waco area and gives all glory to God.

Although we touched on all of the types of students I just mentioned, we realize we can’t talk to all 15,029 people enrolled at Baylor.

I guess that’s the point, though. We aren’t 15,029 copies of one another despite stereotypes of our school.

That’s a seemingly obvious thought that’s always been in the back of everyone’s mind. Now it’s time to put that thought in front of our eyes.