Tuesday, October 09, 2007


One of the things that struck me in the Oral Roberts University story is the comment by a student. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Cornell Cross II, a senior from Burlington, Vt., said he is looking to transfer to another school because the scandal has "severely devalued and hurt the reputation of my degree."

"We have asked and asked and asked to see the finances of our school and what they're doing with our money, and we've been told no," said, Cross who is majoring in government. "Now we know why. As a student, I'm not going to stand for it any longer."

Rumors and gossip have been an issue since language was invented. People will spread rumors because they feel a need to make themselves look better. They will also do it to undercut an opponent and sometimes, just because there is an absence of information. If things seem amiss, and requests for information are not fulfilled, the ground is fertile for rumors, speculation, innuendo and gossip.

It seems that some have been questioning the ORU leadership about the finances of the school for some time. That, coupled with a lawsuit filed by former professors, have led to a full bloom of stories about things that are going on there.

I cannot condone rumor-mongering, but I certainly can understand how it happens. I have been an advocate for transparency for churches, non-profits and any group that handles public money. Publishing board meeting summaries, posting quarterly financial statements and having open meetings are all ways to squash rumors. Nothing kills a rumor faster than exposure to the light of truth, and unfortunately too many organizations are loath to be transparent, especially involving their finances. If you have nothing to hide, then don't be secretive. If you are secretive, then you naturally invite suspicion.

The text below was written by David Crowe, a high school junior and the son of an Asbury alumnus. It was posted in the Asbury Coffee House. He offers some good thoughts about rumors, their spread and how to spike them.

People need to think when they start or progress a rumor. Think about the person it's about. Not only put yourself in there shoes but also in there position.

There have been many a rumor this year over many things involving many people, but something has come to me. Is there a true friend who would dare spread a rumor or tell something one has swore never to speak of? Why are there moments that we feel like we must talk to others about others? Does it really make us feel better?

School shootings have been a problem over the past years but there are other culprits than the ones who pulled the trigger, those who decided that they would rather risk the chance of having a fellow student be put down 6 feet under, by putting down another person.

Very few know everything about a person. It takes more than knowing them a few years to know them.

So if you hear a rumor spread about someone whether about something in their past or present don't feed the gossip. Starve it! If you don't, you might make a person relive a past they have tried to forget and move on. Don't spread the pain. Heal it, by being there for your friends and sometimes even for your enemies because I know we would all rather be put up than to be put down for good in a wooden box

David A. Crowe
Preacher's Kid
Junior, Eastern Wayne High School

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