A guard post at the entrance to the so-called, “Hard Work U.”

December 29, 2019-Midwest, United States of America.

On this fine Sunday evening within the Octave of Christmas, one finds time to reflect on one’s blessings. In particular, as the author sips a glass of delicious Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey, it seems that that the WCC code of conduct, the summation of all the rules in and implied by the WCC Student Handbook, is a blessing. Why, you ask? Because IIT’s research team recently discovered the existence of a school that is so strict, the foregoing mention of bourbon being consumed might be cause for the author’s summary expulsion from the student body thereof.

Take a moment to let that fact settle, if you must. The name of this school is College of the Ozarks, which received its nickname, ‘Hard Work U,’ by none other than the Washington Post. At this institution, as a majority of WCC students are in the midst of a generous month-long Christmas break, there are a number of students still in their work study jobs, helping to maintain the campus, the dairy and farm operations, and the 4 1/2-star restaurant the college runs year-round. The trade off this difficult schedule is, of course, that the students graduate debt-free, but at the expense of home time. One particular WCC student is known to have a sibling in attendance at this school, and since the younger sibling began his studies at College of the Ozarks, the WCC student, who went on leader week and worked full time in Lander over the summer, was actually home more time overall than the younger sibling.

Where does alcohol come in? Absolutely nowhere, it seems. College of the Ozarks has a true zero tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol, forbidding students from having alcohol, alcohol advertisements, or empty containers on campus, subject to expulsion. Moreover, no student is permitted to drink off campus, whether of age or otherwise. It is an open question whether one is even permitted to drink at home within school policy, as it isn’t indicated as being an exception to the off-campus rule in the student handbook.

That pleasure being denied, perhaps you may think that a nice, soothing bowl of one’s favorite pipe tobacco would be just the ticket to soothe one’s nerves after the Military Science class. As it happens, this is also a mistake, as College of the Ozarks expressly forbids the use of tobacco in any form on campus. Perhaps a joy ride, then? Perhaps, provided one isn’t a freshman. Freshman vehicles are locked up in a special lot from Monday morning through Friday. Then comes the weekend, and freedom. Excited, one of the freshmen goes to the freshman lot, retrieves his car, and begins to leave campus. Unfortunately, he spun his tires leaving a stop sign and campus security, having seen him do this on several other occasions, decides to impound his car on the Banned Cars lot. Perhaps in some period, from several weeks to six months, his car may be returned to him.

Of course, there are more creative ways to get kicked out at College of the Ozarks. Perhaps one could try selling contraband from the dorms. Better yet, given the Christian identity of the school, going out of town with your significant other in some way that might be construed as potentially, in some theoretical realm, scandalous. Either way, there are solid choices for getting oneself expelled, if one tries hard enough. Given that music was apparently permanently banned during lunch because someone determined that it was a good idea to request AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, it seems likely that a bright enough student could surely find something new, beautiful, and inventive to get in trouble for.

However, for the author’s part, this is all an occasion for gratitude this Christmas season. While many complain about the restrictive nature of WCC’s rules, which govern most aspects of campus life, by comparison to that of College of the Ozarks, the WCC Student Handbook is downright Libertarian. While the other may be a suitable choice for some students, the author is grateful for WCC and for those reasonable souls who put much effort into creating a still conservative, but far less totalitarian, code for community life.

So it is that I, S. Ezra Smith, on the 29th of December, 2019, raise this glass of bourbon to the powers that be at WCC and those who envisioned her rules at the founding. Here’s to you during this season of gratitude.

Peace and joy to all, for unto us a Savior is born!

S. Ezra Smith