University comments on male involvement

With fall 2015 coming up, many new students are receiving leadership roles.

This has led to discussions about involvement on campus. Many male leaders have strong opinions on male involvement.

Ethan Penner, J. Alvin Resident Assistant, thinks that men are just as involved as females but in different ways.

Penner said, “For the most part, I’m fairly impressed with the males taking leadership here. I think the guys on SMLT do a great job.”

“In scripture Paul especially calls men to step up…not that I see a lack of it here, I think it’s something that men need to be reminded of,” Penner said. “I think male leadership is very important.” He also explained that he would like to encourage men to be involved in leadership on campus, not that it is lacking.

Other people, however, feel that male involvement is lacking on the JBU campus.

“I think guys see the trend and assume that there will be more females than males on the trips, and they are often right,” explained Austin Robertson, coordinator of student success.

He said that this might snowball and make males less likely to even consider the possibility of going on the trips because they may think studying abroad is something that mainly females do while in college.

Luke Dinger, a men’s ministry leader, said, “Society’s view of a man is different than a Biblical view of a man.”

Dinger said that society tells men, “You need to provide, and you need to be this big, strong, powerful figure rather than…(recognizing that) there’s a need here I need to respond to.” He continued, “There is a standard a lot of guys feel they need to meet.”

Frank Huebert said that, though he has been concerned with a perceived lack of male involvement in some areas this year, he does not see male student involvement as a long-term problem.

Huebert suggested that, sometimes, there are cycles in involvement and leadership; however, he is hopeful that more men will step up in their participation and leadership. “I think there are times that they don’t engage in a way that is nice, neat and orderly that is within the set framework for participation, and leadership in particular,” Huebert said.

In his conversation with various resident directors, Huebert said that the resident directors “have been really happy with the male leadership they have seen coming this year.”

Huebert realized that there is typically less male involvement in terms of mission trips. He commented that this year was especially down in male involvement.

However, Huebert remained hopeful. “We just had the men’s retreat, and it has probably been one of the biggest turnouts this year,” he said.

“My desire is to see guys engaged and involved. I think their voice is really important on campus,” said Huebert.

“Sometimes, women do a better job of encouraging one another to apply,” Huebert explained.

“Guys don’t always do a great job of affirming leadership in one another,” he said.

“I’d be interested to better understand what the causes behind male disengagement are,” Huebert said. “I think their voice is very much needed on campus.”