Liberty U blocks website: it reveals how much federal money the school gets

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Hokiephile, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Hokiephile

    Hokiephile New Member

  2. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    As a Liberty alum, I am ashamed of this action. This is unconscionable and inexcusable.
  3. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Liberty University students may not even be safe reading newspapers in their privacy of their homes. Remarkably, current Liberty University regulations appear to grant school authorities the rights to physically investigate the residences of students, regardless of whether or not they live on campus:

    So can university authorities actually show up on your doorstep and demand a snap inspection, even if you are a non-resident student living in your own house somewhere off-campus? What happens if you refuse?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    If you want to judge for yourself the offending news story that caused LU to block internet access to the local newspaper, it is still available online here (note: link may not work for Liberty University students).

    The story, which appears to be well researched, notes that LU is now the top recipient of federal financial aid dollars in the state, and one of the largest in the nation. The story documents the large size and professionalism of the LU financial aid office.

    To be fair, we should present both sides. So let it be noted that LU Chancellor Jerry Fallwell Jr. offered the following
    rationale for the apparent censorship:

    To my knowledge, LU has not challenged or questioned any of the points made in the news story.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Maybe this is time to review the actions of the "non-profits" just like there has been the witch hunt of the "for-profits". This is really sad.
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    For some reason I think of the book "1984".
  7. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I disagree with the action to block the site, but there is nothing that suggests that LU is abusing financial aid. They simply have a large number of students. I can testify that I was not recruited with high-pressure sales tactics. The admissions representatives were helpful but not pushy at all. I appreciated having a responsive financial aid department.

    For the classes, I cannot complain about the quality.
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I am not implying anything. That is just a lot of money and all expenditures should be examined during rough economic times. It just makes me think where there is smoke there is fire...why block it?
  9. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    That does appears to be the gist of the news story. There was no suggestion of impropriety.

    My guess: Liberty probably perceived the story as an embarrassment, even though no impropriety was suggested. This school tends to appeal to individuals of conservative political leanings -- yet the news story revealed a striking dependency on federal government assistance. This is in marked contrast to other conservative schools, like Hillsdale College or Grove City College, which refuse to participate in federal aid programs on principle.

    Ironically (but perhaps predictably), Liberty's attempt at censorship has only succeeded in spreading the news faster. We can only hope that they won't block degreeinfo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  10. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    As a Liberty student and a big supporter of them, I feel qualified to say that blocking the site was a very poor political move on their part. Like CalDog said above, and I'll add my thoughts, one the quickest ways of making news go viral is to try to block it. However, I'm not 100% sure that it was an attempt to suppress the truth.

    I wonder if it was more of an ill-conceived retaliation rather than an attempt to hide something; more of a boycott. Surely they would not be so foolish as to think they could stop word from spreading with such an impotent move. I'm not sure they have the motivation to suppress the truth anyway. Liberty is absolutely huge, so it is not surprising that they receive a proportionate chunk of the fed money. There is no reason to be ashamed of that. This is why I'm doubtful about what has been said about their motives.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Some prominent conservative institutions see it differently -- they do think that it is shameful to accept government aid, and to put up with the associated regulations. So they flatly refuse it.

    Now, it's obvious that Liberty doesn't share that position. But perhaps they would rather not have the issue brought to the attention of the campus community, where it might provoke unwanted discussion. Maybe that's why they tried to prevent the story from reaching the campus.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  12. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I can agree with that. I have no problem with compliance verification.
  13. eilla05

    eilla05 New Member

    I would bet the blockage had something to do with the person in the article stating that it doesn't fit for their ultra conservative attitude.

    I don't really get why they would care... so what they are growing super fast and making a ton of money..if students want to go there and feel that they offer a good education then so be it. But they can't think it would be a good move blocking an article....
  14. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I doubt that they were attempting to suppress information, and there's nothing in that information to be ashamed of anyway. Nobody can actually know their motivation without hearing directly from them. You shouldn't assume that they were attempting to suppress the information and then pass that assumption off as fact.

    It is doubtful that there is anything nefarious about the whole thing, LU simply didn't want to support a publication that was working against them. I recently had a friend betray me, I forgive him, but I'm no longer going to support his actions. In both cases, that's an understandable response.

    Even the article the OP provided, and the other linked articles, assumed that LU blocked the article because they were suppressing the truth, but there is no evidence pointing to their reasoning either way. The statements are based on assumptions. LU unblocked it a couple of days later, so it sounds like a knee-jerk reaction that they later thought better of. I'm sure they could deal a bit of a blow to a small-town newspaper by boycotting them. I'm guessing that this was their motivation. There is nothing wrong with refusing to support someone who is attempting to undermine you. It wasn't politically astute on their part, but I do not believe the action was nefarious.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  15. AdjunctInstructor

    AdjunctInstructor New Member

    I am writing in regards to LU's students using federal financial aid. It seems that many members of this forum are quick to condemn or otherwise scrutinize without justification. Come on, LU has about 60,000 students and most are consumers of federal financial what? As an alumnus and student of LU I appreciate the federal financial aid offered, otherwise I would not be able to attend. Liberty's F/A staff are professional and ethical. Liberty University's graduation rates are good and it offers viable degrees that bring employment opportunity. As far as the paper censor, LU is a faith based school and I am sure many other conservative faith based schools have the same or similar policies. I would guess that if you attended a Muslim faith based school in say Iran or Saudi Arabia you would also be censored, or worse. So my advice, for those whom question the F/A amount, is that you may need reevaluate what your motivation is in alluding that something isn't on the "up and up" as far as LU's students utilizing over 400,000,000 federal aid.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  16. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Hear, hear.
  17. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Because that is what we are all about...questioning things and drawing our own conclusions based on little to no facts just for the fun of it. :silly: Guess you missed the memo.
  18. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    LOL! :haha:
  19. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    But how exactly did the newspaper "work against" LU, or "betray" them ??

    No one has accused the newspaper of reporting false or inaccurate information; the story is apparently valid. Furthermore, you have repeatedly asserted that "there's nothing in that information to be ashamed of".

    But if the newspaper accurately reported harmless and non-shameful information about LU, then why should anyone have a problem with that ? if you find it "understandable", then maybe you can explain it to the rest of us.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  20. james_lankford

    james_lankford New Member

    I say they banned it because they view the article as a hatchet job

    why is this news worthy? Why is it a story ?

    "Liberty University students received ..."

    "The $445 million included $385.9 million in student loans"

    What makes that news worthy ?
    What is the motive and rationale behind writing a story about a bunch of students getting loans that they are required to pay back ?

    The university is not receiving government money, the students are.

    Would it be news worthy if the students of UCLA were receiving 386 million in student loans ?
    How 'bout MIT ? Penn State ?

    I can almost guarantee that if it were one of those schools then there would be no story.
    The only reason its a story now is because its a religious school.
    Oh my god ! Students attending a christian conservative school are taking government loans and work study! Hypocrites! Separation of church state !

    A bunch of people are getting their panties in a wad because students are exercising their constitutional right. They think its hypocritical for a educational/religious institution to lay claim to separation of church state when it suits them, yet at the same time accept money from the government.

    However, it would in fact be unconstitutional to deny the students loans based on the students' choice to attend a religious institution.
    You can't give federal aid to one student because they choose to attend a non-religious institution, but deny another student federal aid because they choose to attend a religious institution.

    So there is no hypocrisy on Liberty's part at all. It is perfectly logical for them to claim separation of church and state and still accept tuition in the form of federal student loans.

    Liberty probably just views the article as biased bs and decided to block it because of that.
    Again, where is the story of much federal financial aid the students of Texas A&M are receiving? Or the students of Notre Dame?

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