Letter to the editor

Dear Waltonian,

The March 30 Waltonian Opinions article entitled, “An unjust acceptance rate: Our Christian mission should not require low standards,” has generated a variety of conversations, both informal and formal. Within this context, it is important to highlight and reflect on the University’s foundational commitment “To Justice, reconciliation, and transformation,” as stated in the catalogs.

While there are various interpretations of justice and of Biblical justice, Eastern University’s practice of living out this obligation is clearly articulated in the following way:

“We seek to work for Christian transformation, justice and reconciliation, in all areas of life as these are grounded in our understanding of Christ’s calling to us. We particularly seek to work with and for the poor…as part of our Christian discipleship. Thus we seek: to provide educational opportunities and financial aid as best we can for those with few or no financial resources to attend a private Christian university…”

The University’s commitment to justice responds to economic barriers that decrease or prevent access to quality Christian education. It is important to note that the commitment to justice only takes into account the student profile as it relates to financial need. We are proud to be able to honor our commitment to make an Eastern education possible for all of our students. More than 90% of students receive institutional financial aid, much of which is need-based.

Like other colleges and universities, Eastern considers a number of factors in determining how offers for admission are made. The College of Arts and Sciences admissions process, as outlined in the college catalog, requires a comprehensive review of each applicant’s profile, which includes SAT or ACT scores, high school class rank, letters of reference and “a personal essay responding to the Mission and Faith Statement of the University” (p23). Applicants who do not meet recommended criteria are denied admission to the University or their applications are subject to further review by a committee before an admission decision is made. The potential for student success is the deciding factor in the university admissions process.

We hope this brings greater clarity to Eastern’s commitments and processes and promotes informed conversations. As we move forward and continue these important conversations, let us embrace our commitment to Christian community, which leads us “to work towards shaping a campus community that embodies values of Christian witness, caring and compassion, justice and integrity, competence and affirmation. We wish to treat each member of the campus community with fairness, dignity and respect, seeking a spirit of unity and harmony as we join together to achieve our common mission(emphasis added). Thus we seek:

 •To foster genuine community, where individuals show compassion and friendship toward others in the spirit of Christian love;

•To help students increase in self-awareness and in their sensitivity towards others and others’ needs and situations;

•To foster an environment where diversity is appreciated and reconciliation is practiced;

•To equip all members of the campus community to live well with one another, honoring, supporting and affirming one another.

        David King, Ed.D., Provost

        Monica Smith, MSW, Assistant to the Provost for Multicultural Concerns

        Amy Pérez, MSW, Assistant to the Provost for Student Success

Comments are closed.