You asked and he answered. President Benton takes questions from Pepperdine Magazine readers.
Last year I was a member of the Pepperdine Cheer Squad and was sadly informed that it would cease to exist this year. However, the cheerleaders were not given a legitimate answer as to why this was happening and we were reassured that a “Pom Squad” would be created that has cheerleading aspects. Looking at the tryout information for the pom squad there are no cheering aspects to this new team at all. Why was the cheer squad cut, why are there no cheer aspects to the pom squad, and why can there not be both teams at Pepperdine (which a lot of Universities have)?
—Allison Hubbard, Seaver College Class of 2015
ANDY: We are constantly looking for the right formula for our cheer squads. our observation has been that dance elements may actually be more important to our crowd support than cheer elements and we are trying to respond to that. This is not a decision that I make, but I am aware of the issues and, frankly, I focus my attention on what interests crowds who attend our contests and how can we support the winning ways of our teams. We owe them our best.
What is the best advice you can give to be able to see God’s plan and find our passion for the future?
—Christopher Chong, Seaver College Class of 2015
ANDY: For me the critical element is listening in silence. I am an early-morning person and I use that time to prepare for the day and its challenges. A period of prayer, before the sun rises each day, is followed by time for contemplation and listening. In that experience I often find answers, even those I don’t want to hear sometimes.
Do you have to be Christian to become a student here?
ANDY: No, but a sincere belief in something greater than yourself is important. If, in your view, life revolves around you and service to others and the needs of a hurting world don’t move you, then this might not be the best school for you. Christianity—a belief that one should go into the world and tell the good news of Christ—has always been an important part of Pepperdine, and it always will be.