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Alumni looking to change Messiah College's Community Covenant

Updated: Friday, August 30 2013, 05:36 PM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers 

GRANTHAM -- Some students and alumni at a local Christian college are raising their eyebrows at a phrase in their community covenant.

In Messiah College's community covenant, it says students have to maintain academic integrity and express Christian values, as well as avoid sinful behaviors, including homosexual behavior.

One recent graduate of the school wants to see that erased from the covenant.
"I went to messiah college and graduated in '07," said Louie Marvin, who has worked for Harrisburg's LGBT Center since he graduated.

"I also had a great experience, met a lot of great people and I feel like I got a good education, but it’s a complicated thing," he said, referring to the covenant.

At issue, the covenant that students sign or agree to. In it, it says, "We are to bring peace and unity where there is conflict and discrimination. We're to respect people and to value life above material wealth."

But a conflict Marvin has with the agreement is where students are told to avoid sinful practices, including homosexual behavior. 

"That’s problematic for a lot of people because its seen as singling out a group of students and creating unfit space or a negative environment," Marvin said. 
"I think the phrase means romantic behavior that’s what administration says case by case basis," he added.

Now alumni are taking to Facebook, hoping to change that.

"We want to see the language of homosexual behavior, we want to see it removed," he said.

In what's called "Intrusive Alumni," more than 200 people want the college to become more accepting to gay students.

"The number thing I personally want is for students to know that there is a community out there that affirms them," Marvin said.

We asked you for your opinions earlier on our Facebook page.

Debbie wrote her daughter is a senior at Messiage and says she hasn't worried about drugs or alcohol or partying and that the young people who go there are mature, godly adults. She's proud of the school for taking a stance on these issues.

Rachel writes, "The simple fact is that it's a private college and they can make any rule they want."

"I totally agree, absolutely they do. We're not necessarily (talking about) what someone or an institution can do, what were talking about is what they ought to do," Marvin said.

CBS 21 reached out to Messiah College, but they declined a request for an interview.Alumni looking to change Messiah College's Community Covenant


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