'Footloose'n Up the Ban! LIBERTY SWING DANCE GROUP CALLS fOR ACTION ON OUTDATED RULE

Students of Liberty University have been meeting weekly to swing dance despite the Liberty Way strictly prohibiting dancing.

According to their Facebook page, LU Swing is a community group of students who meet every Friday to swing dance in various locations across campus. These rendezvouses occur in places such as the roof or lobby of DeMoss Hall from 6:30 pm to 9 pm.

"[The dancing ban] is stupid."

“We get about sixty to eighty people every time,” said Bethany Parr, unofficial president of LU Swing. “It’s always a good turnout and everybody has fun.” Unfortunately, Liberty University doesn’t see it that way.

Even attending a dance can lead to a hefty fine.

According to The Liberty Way, attendance at a dance can earn you a six-point demerit, a $25 fine, or both. This means that many, if not all of LU Swing’s members owe a sizable fine to the school. Others could face expulsion.

Joshua Chen, 26, is a junior who has attended these swing dances for the past three semesters. Should LUPD enforce their penalty student, he owes $1000 in fines and could receive up to 270 points.

Chen believes that the rule is not only pointless, but he also thinks that swing dancing is beneficial for Christians.

“It’s fellowship,” he said. “It’s a good way to meet people and have fun in a clean way. There’s nothing wrong it.”

However, students like Peter Binion, 21, see the rule as a safeguard, rather than an unnecessary restriction. According to Binion, the dance ban is a preventative measure against lewd acts such as grinding, which may lead to sexual activity. Nevertheless, even Binion agrees that it might be time to retire such an old-fashioned law.

“[The rule] harkens back to the age where people thought playing cards and dancing were from the devil,” Binion said.

Students are so fed up with the rule, many have called for action from the student government. Liberty University’s SGA is currently reviewing an appeal to remove the dancing ban from the Liberty Way, according to SGA member Aaron Tate.

Should the appeal go through, Liberty University would only be following the footsteps of other Christian colleges across the country who have loosened their grip on restricting dances. In 1996, Baylor University lifted the 151-year-old ban. Seven years later, Wheaton College did the same, followed by John Brown University in 2007.

Many colleges are becoming lenient when it comes to dancing, but Liberty isn't budging.

Whether or not Liberty chooses to continue the ban, one thing is for certain.

“We’re not going to stop dancing,” Parr said, laughing. “We all love it too much to stop.”

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