The Opposite of Glee

One student at the very conservative Bob Jones University may face expulsion due, among other things, to watching “Glee,” the Fox television series focused on a high school glee club.

According to a piece by Melissa Keeney at WSPA News:

Just a week before graduation, 23 year old Chris Peterman should be preparing his cap and gown. Instead, the Bob Jones University student says he’s fighting for the degree he believes he’s earned. Peterman says the problems began several months ago, after he formed a group called “Do Right BJU” to support sexual abuse awareness on campus. The group held a silent protest in December, and received widespread attention. “That’s all when my problems started,” recalls Peterman.

In April, the infractions escalated after Peterman says another student spotted him watching the FOX television show “Glee” at a Starbucks off campus. Peterman says he’s always been a big fan. “I love Glee. I’ve watched it from the beginning.” Shortly after the incident, he was called into the Dean’s office and given 50 demerits, putting him dangerously close to the school’s 150 demerit limit. Peterman says the Dean told him the content of the show was “morally reprehensible” and against the school’s values. “It was because I was watching Glee,” he says. “If I had been watching basketball, he says that would have been fine.”

After he contacted the U.S. Department of Education and the university’s accreditation agency with his predicament, he received more demerits for “insubordination/disrespect.” He’s now suspended and won’t receive a degree unless Bob Jones approves his appeal.

Bob Jones University, founded by evangelist Bob Jones, Sr. in 1927, is a 4,000 student evangelical (and largely fundamentalist) college in Greenville, South Carolina.

Bob Jones also prohibits students (and staff) from a number of other things generally considered none of a college’s damn business, such as engaging in premarital sex, possessing pornography, drinking alcohol, going to the movies, having facial hair, smoking, and wearing Abercrombie & Fitch clothing.

The school prohibited interracial dating until 2000.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer