GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA
Life at Bob Jones University can seem "strict" to some. Girls are restricted from wearing pants on certain parts of the campus. All dates must be chaperoned by one of the college staff, and under no circumstances are couples allowed to touch. Violations of these rules are strictly enforced, and those who accumulate enough demerits during a school year face expulsion. But recently rules regarding internet access on campus have been reevaluated.
"We recognize that the internet is both a wonderful and a perilous thing." Said Dr. Bob Jones III, Chancellor of the University. "Every day there is something new out there, and while many of these things are worldly, there are, on occasion, good ideas."
One of the ideas that Jones appreciates is that of the popular website MySpace, in which people can post information about themselves such as likes, dislikes, pictures, etc. But given the nature of much of the content on MySpace the website is blocked by the campus' internet filtering software.
"I like the idea of MySpace," said Jones, "a place where our students can connect and learn about one another, but MySpace is a terrible website, filled with worldly and base things. We just cannot let our students have access to such a website without monitoring them, and checking up on everything they are writing and posting. But we have come up with our own system called ThySpace, which will allow our students to basically do the same thing."
ThySpace will be launched this fall at the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year and will only be available and accessible to Bob Jones students on campus. Students will be able to customize there own home page and list their favorite classes at Bob Jones, their favorite Bob Jones III quote, their favorite Bob Jones choir music that they like to listen to, and their favorite food at the Bob Jones Dining Common. In addition, students may post pictures of themselves so long as they were taken on the campus of the university, and they may regularly blog about the things they have learned during Sunday AM services at the Founders' Memorial Apithorium.
"What this will do is increase our community." Said Jones. "You take a good idea, like MySpace, and you tweak it just a bit and you get what we have here with ThySpace."
The site will be free to use by all campus students, and will be monitored by the school's staff to avoid any inappropriate remarks being made. Furthermore, under no circumstances may students of the opposite sex add each other as friends.
"We're here to show the world that we at Bob Jones University can be old fashioned and yet use new things." Said Jones. "But we're not going to compromise though. We're here to stand in the gap and show the world how Christians should live."