Activity Planning Guide
Questions to Consider
Activity planners should use the following questions as a guide in their planning, and be prepared to support their planning decisions accordingly.
1. University Mission, Values and Policies
- Is the activity (including choices of entertainment, dress, food, beverages, speakers, etc.) congruent with the Andrews University mission, values, policies and standards as outlined in the Student Handbook?
2. Christian Morality and Aesthetics
- Will this activity promote what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy? (Philippians 4:8)
- Whatever is done at this event, will it be done for the glory of God? (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Have you exercised mature spiritual judgment in planning, and prayed to have your "senses trained to discern good and evil?" (Hebrews 5:14 NASB)
3. Christian Thought and Worldview
- Does your activity plan provide for an active, thoughtful engagement with other points of view (when present) from a Christian perspective?
- Or are you cultivating an atmosphere of passivity, uncritical acceptance, or indifference to competing messages?
4. Christian Responsibility and Accountability
- Will your activity include any "disputable matters" (Romans 14:1) on which Christian believers might disagree?
- If so, are you prepared to "make every effort" to respect the consciences of others, and to do what will lead to peace and the building up of each other in Christ? (Romans 14:19)
- Are you seeking your own good, or the spiritual good of many? (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Music and Film Selection Criteria
Andrews University Working Policy also offers the following guidelines when selecting music or film for events.
1. Music Evaluation Standards
- How is the music likely to affect the emotions of those present? Is the style wholesome and appropriate to the occasion?
- If the music has words (even though the words will not be sung at the performance), are they appropriate and do they express ideals that are worthy of a Seventh-day Adventist Christian? Is it possible that the words have a double meaning that may violate high moral, social and ethical standards?
- With what type of environment is this kind of music usually associated? Is it associated with the kinds of activities and establishments in which Seventh-day Adventists are not usually found? Do the actions of the performers give any hint of vulgarity, crudeness, cheapness or suggestiveness?
- Music that is intended for use at religious occasions must be spiritual rather than merely entertaining. The words must be meaningful, theologically sound, and appropriate to the occasion. Any accompaniment must enhance the message of the composition. Vocal styles and instrumentation should also be spiritually uplifting.
- All music performed by University-sponsored personnel at public functions on- or off-campus must be presented with musicianship that is consistent with generally accepted collegiate standards.
2. Film Evaluation Standards
PLEASE NOTE: Federal law prohibits the showing of videos and DVDs (rented or owned) as part of an organized on-campus or off-campus activity without proper licensing (through Swank or another public performance licensing agent) for any purpose other than as part of a systematic course of instruction, and only then when the film relates to the content of the course and an instructor is present. Clubs and organizations must purchase the proper license to show movies before doing so as part of their activities. Go to www.swank.com for more information on purchasing rights to show most major motion pictures, or download the face-to-face teaching exemption for more information on showing films as part of a classroom exercise.
- Does the content present significant comment on moral, social or political issues? Is it historical, documentary or principally factual in nature? Does it convey significant artistic or aesthetic values?
- Is the realism of the film presented without glorifying habits, ideals or practices which are contrary to Seventh-day Adventist standards (e.g., dancing, card playing, gambling, drinking, smoking, violence, cruelty, brutality, crime, profanity or coarseness)?
- Does the message conveyed in the film avoid undue notice, approval or sanction to theories, philosophies or teachings which are contrary to Seventh-day Adventist doctrines?
- Are the film's values achieved without emphasizing other elements that would make it objectionable (e.g., love-making, ridicule of family, glorification of a notorious historical character or an actor or actress of current notoriety, undue distortion of historical material concentration on sinful life experience of Biblical or historical characters, or distorted impersonation of Christ)?
- Are the technical aspects of the film (e.g., photography, sound track) acceptable?
- Films presenting scenes of especially "stark" realism such as war or bloodshed, violence, operating room techniques, etc., must be advertised frankly as containing such scenes, so that parents may make their own decisions as to whether they should bring their children to such pictures.