The Spiritual Formation department at Vanguard University acknowledged their responsibility for inaccurate chapel credits recorded in student files, which caused a rise of concern regarding a chapel fine.
Vanguard University students are required to complete a total of 30 chapel credits per semester, in order to fulfil the role of being apart of a Christian institution. An attendance record is essential in order to keep track of all chapels.
If these students do not attend the required amount, a 350 dollar fine will be charged to their tuition fees, as a way to keep them accountable and aware of this mandatory policy.
Sophomore Keturah Barr said that she has dealt with chapel issues many times in the past, and this semester has not been any better.
“It is annoying having to deal with this, I wish I could go [to chapel] without the stress of wondering if it will count,” Barr said.
Many students have become discouraged from attending chapel on a weekly basis because of this issue.
“I take the time to walk to chapel, hand out my I.D. card, say thank you [to the scanners] in a line with people pushing me, and listen to chapel sermons, all to find out it never counted, is truly upsetting,” said freshman Kylie McAuliffe.
Sophomore Lindsey Horist felt confused while contacting Spiritual Formation as she was directed all across campus to speak with other departments such as Information Technology and Campus Safety to find a solution to the chapel mistake.
“In total I spent over an hour feeling misunderstood,” Horist said.
Due to a high volume of chapel petitions and discrepancies during the couple of weeks in the fall semester, the office of Spiritual Formation said this issue is bound to happen because many new students are not familiar with the policies.
Regarding one particular week of chapel credits that did not show up in students accounts at the beginning of the school year, Administrative Assistant Kristen Ginn said it was due to a programming error.
“A few chapels were programed for the 2017 Spring semester that should have been programmed for Fall. As soon as we realized this and fixed it in the system, all students who attended were given credit.” said Ginn.
One main factor that has kept students talking is the many times their cards are not properly scanned due to error of the students scanning others in on individual devices.
Students that stand out front of Newport Mesa Church and scan other students in for chapel have dealt with issues such as handing people wanting to scan in their friends or those leaving early still wanting to receive credit.
“Being a scanner is a bit overwhelming as there are a lot of people around me all at once,” said sophomore Lauren Pohl.
Finding students who are willing to scan for events is something that is always needed, yet hard to find because of the pressures that come with the job.
“It is stressful, and many identification cards are constantly thrown in my face,” said sophomore Corena Lentz.
The Assistant Director of Performing Arts Ministry, Lehua Coley, said the department is constantly searching for new technology that is well within budget, and a system that interfaces with what the Technology department already has.
“With everything that goes on behind the scenes, whether that be a scanner malfunction, students not hearing the beep after a scan in, or data entry input, there will always be human error,” said Coley.
Coley also said that the scanner devices need to be mobile, as they are used for many different events, and locations around campus, therefore for now this form of keeping track continues to be the best fit for all departments at Vanguard.
Ginn said the best way to always receive credit is by allowing the scanners to have a full view of the card’s barcode before walking away in a hurry and to make sure to take your ID card out of any holder.
“Chapel is an important part of Vanguard University. We want to make sure that students receive accurate credit for chapels they attended.” said Ginn.
Ginn said the office of Spiritual Formation cares about feeding the souls of the students, as it is their department to be in control over such events, in order to keep students on track for the faith.
“We [Spiritual Formation office] apologize for any inconvenience. We wish there was a perfect system, but we do the best we can to ensure there are ways for students to receive credit if something goes wrong,” said Ginn.