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The lowdown on transcripts and compassion: Readers respond

Dear Editor:

I am writing regarding the article on transcripts in the March 16 issue of the Waltonian. I felt that one point was unclear from the article, and, as the transcript officer here at Eastern University, I want to make sure our students have all the information necessary for successfully requesting a transcript.

Caleb says, in the second paragraph of his report, “This employer requires a college transcript, but one call to the registrar should fix that.”

While this may have been intended as a figure of speech, I know that this also reflects a very common misconception about the transcript process. In the registrar’s office, we are bound by important legal regulations regarding the students’ information and privacy.

FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, requires that the school obtain a student’s written consent before his or her educational records may be disclosed. This is meant to be a protection for students and their private information, but what this sometimes actually means for students is seemingly unnecessary hassle.

Students cannot simply call the registrar’s office and request that their transcript be sent somewhere. They must make that request in writing, whether they fax that request, drop it off at the office personally or mail it to us via campus mail. Their requests must include their dated signature in order for us to legally release their records. Since this is a matter of federal law, it is a common requirement throughout academic institutions.

A phone call to the registrar’s office will give students the information they need on how to request their transcript. Their phone call will not release their records, and it will not resolve financial holds. Financial holds must be addressed with the Student Accounts office, since their office has placed the hold on the students’ account. We also cannot give out students’ private information over the phone, such as GPA or classes taken.

However, whenever students have any questions regarding their academic records, they should feel free to contact us. We will be glad to help out in any way legally permitted.

Thank you for a chance to clarify the matter.

-Crystal Tracy, EU Transcript Officer

Dear Editor,

Over four years at Eastern, one of the things that I have valued most is open dialogue between a variety of viewpoints. Even so, I have recently found myself pulling down signs around campus. These signs have a headline that reads “Stop Ignoring what the Bible Says Against Homosexuality!!!!!!!” Yes, that’s seven exclamation points.

As you might gather from the headline, the author of the sign has strong beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. The author quotes Scriptures that talk about homosexuality being an abomination, and also makes arguments from “the natural order of things.” The problem I saw with the signs (and my reason for tearing them down) was that the author expresses this strong belief without any hint of love.

The sign uses Scripture as a bludgeon-quoting from 1 Corinthians to say that homosexuals will not be saved. However, probably every Christian fits into one of the categories Paul mentions. I still fall into idolatry and greed on a regular basis, and though I don’t sleep around, my sexual morality is less than perfect.

This passage, and Scripture as a whole, should be used to give hope to people who struggle with issues like homosexuality.

The sign concludes that “We must stand in opposition to their sin against our Savior,” and yet I think Christ would be the first to befriend people dealing with homosexuality-just as He befriended adulterers and drunkards.

I am not opposed to people expressing their view that homosexuality is wrong. But I think we need to recognize that there are other views out there, even other Christian views. If you have a hard time accepting that there can be other views, check out the chapter on homosexuality in Tony Campolo’s book, Speaking My Mind. Or maybe even go listen to the people coming from Equality Ride in the next couple of weeks.

I am not trying to tell people that they should accept homosexuality as something other than sinful. I think I still would agree with the basic stance presented in the signs I tore down.

But Eastern needs to continue to be a safe place to dialogue about these issues. We need to be careful in discussion (especially with Equality Ride coming) to be motivated by love; without love, we are clanging cymbals.

Finally, if there is to be dialogue, we need to have the courage to stand behind our views. The author of the signs I tore down did not even sign his or her name. If you are not willing to know and to be known by those who you are addressing, how can you love them?

-Chris Micklewright, student chaplain advisor

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