The experiment has ended.
Goshen College will no longer play “The Star-Spangled Banner” at its sporting events, according to a release issued Monday by the school. The school’s board of directors have asked GC president Jim Brenneman to find an alternative to playing the national anthem that fits sports tradition, honors the country and resonates with the school’s core values.
“The board expressed a strong commitment to advancing with president Brenneman the vision for Goshen College to be an influential leader in liberal arts education with a growing capacity to serve a theologically, politically, racially and ethnically diverse constituency both within and beyond the Mennonite church,” the release stated. “The board concluded that continuing to play the national anthem compromised the ability of college constituents to advance the vision together.”
In response to the board’s decision, Brenneman said he hopes the decision will help the school move forward together and focus on finding new ways to welcome students from the local and regional community.
In a decision statement issued by the board, its members acknowledged it was still not the end of the conversation.
“Discussion on the issues surrounding and raised by the playing of the National Anthem at Goshen College — including questions of faith, denominational affiliation, institutional identity, core values and hospitality — will and should continue,” the statement read. “The official discussion, though, at Goshen College about this issue is concluded with the Board’s decision. With courage, grace and hope, Goshen College will have a long and bright future of furthering God’s kingdom.”
Walking across the campus of Goshen College Monday afternoon, art professor John Blosser said he supported the choice to step back from the playing of the anthem, although he noted he was an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow.
“I think that there’s a misjudgment that either or is how people see it here,” Blosser said. “Most people here have a national pride and an allegiance to country, but they’re also not going to blindly accept everything the country does.”
Blosser said any time there is a symbol seen as either one way or another, people tend to feel very strongly about it.
“But I think there’s not a lack of national respect and love of this culture and country, and I think there are nuanced approaches to that,” he said.
For Elkhart resident Jaime Atkinson, standing outside the Eigsti Track and Field Complex where her daughter was playing volleyball, the potential for playing other patriotic music — such as “America the Beautiful” — in the anthem’s place makes the otherwise poor decision acceptable. However, she would still prefer the anthem be played.
“I think the national anthem should be played before every sporting event, especially with what our country is going through,” Atkinson said, later adding, “If they change it (as opposed to playing nothing) I guess it would be fine, but I think the national anthem, that’s what America is about — before every baseball game, everything, that’s what we all look forward to.”
She said she did not see anything negative about playing the anthem.
Vehemently opposed to the removal of the anthem from Goshen College’s sporting events was Goshen resident Scott DeVoe, who shared his thoughts while attending the Goshen Youth Soccer Organization’s fourth- and fifth-grade girls’ soccer tournament at the school’s athletic fields.
“I live in America, it’s our national anthem, I want to hear it,” DeVoe said. “We live in America, it’s part of America. You go to a ball game, you stand up, you take your hat off, they play the national anthem.”
DeVoe compared it to political parties and the president. Even if the president is from a party you do not affiliate yourself with, he said, the person is still your president and you have to follow where they lead whether you voted for them or not.
He put his opinion of the board’s decision more directly.
“I kind of find it disrespectful as an American,” he said.
The experiment has ended.
- Local News
INDOT preparing for hazardous driving conditions
A winter storm warning forecasting freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow means difficult driving conditions are likely for motorists in southern and central Indiana, as well as counties in northeastern Indiana, beginning in the overnight hours tonight.
- RV industry veterans go to work on new venture, business model LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A year ago Ron and Bill Fenech and Don Clark had a poster with a drawing of recreational vehicles on it. That was the extent of their new RV company. On Tuesday, a year later, the partners were busy hosting dealers at their display of RVs that looked very similar to that drawing on the poster.
- Motorhome business once again flourishing LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The iconic American vacation machine, the motorhome, is experiencing an uptick in popularity.
Work sharing program faces opposition
INDIANAPOLIS -- A coalition of business and labor groups want Indiana legislators to expand unemployment benefits to partially furloughed workers, but the proposal faces opposition from the state agency that would implement it. So-called "work-shari
- Youth prepare for 'cardboard city' GOSHEN -- Members of St. John the Evangelist youth group are preparing to spend a cold night outdoors in a "cardboard city" they'll build Saturday evening. The purpose of the cardboard city is for the youth to empathize with and bring attention to th
Career Center teams to compete at PRI National Championship
ELKHART -- The Elkhart Area Career Center's Motorcycle Technology and Small Engine Repair class has two teams of students who will be competing in the "Hot Rodders of Tomorrow" Engine Challenge in Indianapolis Tuesday through Dec. 14. The competitio
Thor reports first-quarter income gain
ELKHART -- Officials at Elkhart-based Thor Industries Inc. this week announced a 33 percent increase in net income for the company's fiscal first quarter, which ended Oct. 31, on a 5 percent increase in sales. According in information from RV Busines
- Holiday Bazaars, Crafts & Cookie Walks A roundup of local holiday bazaars, crafts and cookie and cake walks.
Elkhart General Hospital begins work on $74M expansion
Elkhart General Hospital has begun work on a $74 million expansion that will add three floors to its west wing.
- National RV Trade Show kicks off with football LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It's an RV trade show, but football was the topic Monday morning. At the National RV Trade Show kickoff breakfast "Mean Joe" Greene, hall of fame NFL defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, made a brief appearance on stage. G
- More Local News Headlines
- INDOT preparing for hazardous driving conditions