A reader emailed a rebuttal to my post to NRO, which they published, followed by another reader's response to that. The whole conversation happened HERE. I know my reply won't make it back to NRO, but I'd like to address the first rebuttal of my argument here for all you kind souls who came back to my blog. The respondent said the following about my post:
The total number of students enrolled in US colleges and universities is about 15 million (that's only undergrads, http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/school.html); 325 of those are at Patrick Henry College. If the number of college deaths at Patrick Henry College exactly equaled the national average, it would be 0.02 per 5 years (based on the 857 number your PHC student refers to), or one every 50 years. I'm fine with private colleges setting whatever rules they want for their students, but if this is the best defense he can come up with for the rules imposed by Patrick Henry College, which include martial-law features like a curfew, his case is pretty weak.First, I admitted candidly in my post that the statistics do not line up on a purely mathematical basis. Patrick Henry College has 300+ students; UVA has closer to 30,000. The purpose of the post was to offer insight from my personal experience into the value systems of Patrick Henry College and why we are different from a majority of college campuses. I chose deaths as the statistic of comparison because that was the topic of the UVA news story, unfortunately. I might add that STDs and drugs are almost nonexistent at PHC and that only a handful of students are sexually active -- a very real, healthy difference that you won't find statistics on.
Second, the college's curfew is anything but martial-law. In fact, I live off campus. There are no curfew restrictions on me, but if I plan on visiting campus at 3 am I can expect the doors to be locked and a security guard to let me in. Those in their junior year or 21-years and older are not subject to curfew either. They can come and go as they please, but they aren't allowed into dorms of the opposite sex after curfew hours.
Despite what the Harvard student insuates, the rules at PHC are not Draconian. They are calculated to protect the student body and be flexible enough to look out for their best interests. The larger point here is not the rules-based society but the Christian culture. The ethos at PHC respects life, property, and morals and as a collective we hold each other to a higher Biblical standard. If you want to see real, breathing statistics come visit the school. I promise you will notice a difference.