Viewpoint: Baylor needs to do more to break down social barriers

By Maegan Rocio

Many of my high school experiences have made me think and wonder about the mentality of my generation.

It has the proverbial elephant in the room of life.

While I was applying for college, I constantly reminded myself that those memories of immaturity would soon be replaced by better, realistic ones.

I can remember when I was accepted to Baylor University and the excitement I felt when I first stepped onto campus as a freshman. “This is it”, I thought to myself. “No more high school drama, no more cliques or clichés. I get to finally experience a small taste of the real world.”

Only for my hopes and dreams to emit a high-pitched wail as they died.

With a creeping horror, it slowly dawned on me last semester that Baylor actually perpetuates the high school mentality I had been trying to run from. Everywhere I looked, I could see familiar facets of high school life.

For example, the popular girls, or GBGs (Generic Baylor Girls for all of you that are still learning the lingo), are easily recognized by their clothes: an oversized jersey or shirt that doubles as a mid-thigh length dress and covers their pair of shorts.

Thanks to their manner of dress, the way they speak, and the way their carry themselves, they unfortunately come across as ditzy and scatter-brained. However, I know that not all GBGs fit the stereotypical mold other students expect of them; many just happen to give the impression that they do.

Also, not every frat guy spends his spare time sipping on fifths of vodka, partying until he passes out on the floor then being stepped on by his fellow bash mates. Unless they do.

Digression aside, I don’t blame the students for carrying on this “culture.”

Some students are perfectly content in their nicely organized stereotypes the university has provided them.

But I know that not all students at Baylor fit into those categories, and they may feel as if they don’t belong at Baylor at all because of their different beliefs or ways of thinking.

I understand Baylor’s commitment to their policies and admire how they try to implement them throughout the campus and infuse them into student life. But I feel that their strict adherence to their policy has created a “safety bubble” around campus.

University policy states that “Baylor has no obligation to provide a forum on its campus for everyone with a speech to make” and “speakers whose purposes and methods are basically contrary to the purposes and methods of a Christian university such as Baylor should not be invited.”

Unfortunately, the real world is anything but “Christian.”

How will students gain safe exposure to the real world if the university can’t find a way to do so?

Such experience is needed to break the naïve high school mentality ingrained in the minds of students and prepare them for opinions that drastically differ from their own.

Even though Baylor does its best to educate its students in their chosen fields of study, it means nothing if they undermine teaching students about the world around them.

I remember listening to my biology professor give an introduction for his discussion about evolution only to quickly include the school’s beliefs before he finished speaking. Worst of all, some students that have differing views from the university’s culture can’t voice their opinions for fear of being ostracized by their peers.

Providing students with an education so they can become part of the work force is great, but allowing them to experience part of the real world in a safe environment is crucial.

Maegan Rocio is a sophomore professional writing major from Beaumont. She is a staff writer at the Baylor Lariat.