Counting on Accountability: The Benefits of Behavioral Standards

Posted by Marjorie Pratt on 4/4/19 10:32 AM

 Balancing the budget

For many Americans, college is an opportunity to let loose. The four years between high school and "true adulthood" are only partially dedicated to education. They are primarily for living life without consequences. Why would anyone sacrifice that chance to party?

Most Patrick Henry College students don’t see their decision to adhere to the official behavioral standards as a sacrifice. In fact, they find both academic and moral benefit from the accountability. Practically, the dorms are relatively quiet, students don't attend class under the influence, and friends often gladly hold each other accountable. If for no other reason, behavioral standards at PHC assist students in reaching their academic goals.

Other lifestyle standards like the alcohol policy, the quiet hours, and the curfew all help students academically in obvious ways. But what about the business casual dress code? What about chapel? Why does the school need to hold students accountable? We are all adults. Shouldn’t we be trusted to take care of ourselves?

Why I Value These Standards

As a student, I’m glad to be in an environment that holds me accountable via behavioral standards. As mentioned earlier, many of the school standards are in place simply to help us maintain our grades or to prepare us for the professional world. Others are in place to keep us morally accountable. Without them, I know many of us would turn out to be give-an-inch-take-a-mile kind of students. For many of us, it’s our first time away from our parents. We have new-found freedom, and many of us would be quick to abuse it.

Instead, Student Life tells usfrom day onewhat they expect from us. Instead of acting like police, they work with the Resident Life team to enforce the dress code; They work with Campus Safety to enforce the curfew; But sometimes they just have to trust us and trust our peers to hold us to our word. They expect us to abide by the standards. They expect us to go to church on Sundays. They even expect us to cheat their imperfect system. This system of peer accountability over invasive policing drives me to want to stay accountable. It makes me want to uphold my word more than I would if I felt the school was breathing down my neck. It makes me more responsible for myself and my friends.

"I appreciate [the behavioral standards] because of the accountability they give us as students," sophomore Beka Helm said. "They protect our community in a way that other schools aren't protected. They remove the temptation to do things that could negatively affect me academically and spiritually."

Because of the behavioral standards at PHC, I get more sleep, I dress better, I get better grades, and I’m not putting myself in danger by staying out late. I learned how to discipline myself, and I learned how to approach people who are struggling. I gladly promised to abide by the standards set by the school, and I’m glad I did.


Find out more about what sets PHC apart from the status quo....

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