Christian group creates second campus chapter

Brian Kushida

Increased participation in one of the University’s largest religious student groups this semester resulted in splitting the group into East and West Bank chapters.

Students of Campus Crusade for Christ, a Christian student group at the University, founded Cru West to accommodate the growing number of students living on the West Bank who wish to attend the weekly meetings, said global studies senior and Crusade President James Medina.

Cru West meets in the West Bank Auditorium on Wednesday nights, while Crusade For Christ meets in Smith Hall on the East Bank on Thursday nights.

“It’s mainly a spatial issue,” Medina said.

Facing obstacles of costs and availability of meeting places to accommodate the approximately 460 students attending the meetings became apparent last academic year, said child psychology senior and Crusade officer Jaclyn Lajeunesse.

Lajeunesse said students involved with Crusade didn’t want attendees to feel as though they were “falling through the cracks” by having such a large group meet together.

“We don’t want anyone to feel left out,” she said.

Crusade Adviser Charles Schaller said there is a steady attendance at the Cru West meetings, but he initially feared the group would have a similar backlash as when soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola introduced a new formula for their flagship drink in 1992.

“There’s kind of this fear that you’re going hit the whole ‘New Coke phenomenon’ where you try something new and every single person hates it,” Schaller said.

For some students, the size of the student group can be intimidating.

Mathematics junior and Christians on Campus treasurer David Barta said he once attended a Crusade meeting and liked the experience, but some students might benefit from a slightly smaller meeting.

Christians On Campus attracts about 25 to 30 students per week and “is more intimate and you get to get to know everyone in the group pretty well,” Barta said.

Each Crusade meeting begins and ends with a live band performance, but finding a meeting place that allows amplified music became a challenge for Crusade officers.

“The only people this affects on a weekly basis are Christian groups on campus who have musical worship during their meetings,” Schaller said.

Schaller said Crusade is grateful for the support by the University, but wants a compromise.

Classroom support manager Toni Pangborn of the Office of Classroom Management said although she is unaware of specific guidelines prohibiting amplified music, it is against University policy for any student or student group to disrupt others inside specific University classrooms, including 100 Smith Hall, where Crusade meets every week.

Pangborn said there are more suitable places to have bands perform, including Ferguson Hall, Tedd Mann Concert Hall, Northrop Auditorium and parts of the student unions.

She said any audio used in classrooms should be intended for the benefit of students in a learning environment.

“Classrooms are used for instruction,” Pangborn said. “Having a live band is not instruction, necessarily.”