Love it or hate it, students at Oklahoma Christian University are required to regularly attend chapel each semester. However, changes to the Ethos program this semester have reduced kudos requirements and altered the weekly chapel schedule.
Beginning this semester, students are required to earn 60 kudos. In the past, students had to earn 65 kudos per semester.
Summer Lashley, director of the Ethos program, said the change makes the most sense mathematically.
“We wanted the math to work out so that students go to about four events every week per semester,” Lashley said. “This number gets us pretty close.”
Lashley said she believes this change will have little effect on the majority of students since most achieve their kudos requirements.
“Most of our students are very involved in Ethos events,” Lashley said. “Less than 14% of campus doesn’t achieve their kudos requirements each semester. I think the majority of our students will still be just as active.”
In addition to the reduced kudos requirements, the chapel schedule has changed. On Mondays through Wednesdays, chapel will occur in Baugh Auditorium. Departmental chapels will meet on Wednesdays. Alternative chapels, such as Taking Sides or Great Songs Chapel, will meet on Thursdays and Fridays across campus.
“We’ve thought about changing the schedule for about two years,” Lashley said. “Spreading out all the alternative chapels throughout the week is hard to manage. It began to water down the community gathering.”
Senior Luana Miranda said she is worried about how the change will affect students’ abilities to attend other chapels and restrict their options.
“The whole point of the Ethos program is to take charge of your spiritual growth on campus,” said Miranda. “By making us go to big chapel on certain days, our options become limited. And with only two days to take advantage of alternative chapels, we have to pick between chapels we normally would have been able to attend throughout the week.”
Daily chapel in the auditorium has been a tradition at Oklahoma Christian since its early days. Lashley said the school would like to keep daily chapel while also ensuring students explore different aspects of spiritual life.
“It’s important to the school that we bring students together throughout the week,” Lashley said. “We want to bring students who may only engage in smaller chapels to join in with the community. We also want students who might only go to big chapel to explore different chapels and try something new.”
Lashley emphasized the change will not affect chapel reductions or kudos events outside of 11 a.m. chapels.
“Nothing has changed with our standards or requirements,” Lashley said. “It will not be any harder to get a reduction. Your schedule doesn’t change. If you have a conflict with chapel, that doesn’t change. You will still get a reduction, and you can create kudos-approved events. When it comes to kudos events, the more the merrier.”
Lashley also said the Ethos program is ever-evolving and subject to change.
“Nothing in the program is set in stone,” Lashley said. “As the campus changes, we readjust our program. We’ve made lots of changes since the beginning, and we will continue to make them.”
Student reactions to the changes are mixed, with some noting how the schedule change will alter their chapel attendance.
Junior Rachel Orr believes the change will have a positive impact on students.
“It’s nice because students who would normally just attend big chapel will now give smaller chapels a try,” said Orr. “Instead zoning out in chapel, we can interact more with a smaller group and get to know more about a variety of topics.”