The social dimension of Harding University - the pursuit of an education within a Christian social environment - is of paramount importance to the University’s mission. Indeed, the emphasis on Christ-centered student life within the Harding community is a key indicator of Harding’s uniqueness.
This information on student life presents an overview of student activities and the student Code of Conduct. Detailed information is available from the Office of Student Life or online in the Student Handbook.
Harding is, at its core, a Christian university. The character, example and concerns of Jesus Christ are the standards that shape us and chart the course for our future. Because of this, an all-encompassing love for God and a corresponding love for people are at the heart of who we are.
One of our goals at Harding is for Christian spirituality to permeate every aspect of university life. In that sense, every page of this catalog comes under the heading of “Spiritual Life.” Some of the special activities and programs that promote this include:
Annual Lectureship: A Harding tradition that dates back to the founding of the University is the annual Bible lectureship that is held for four days beginning the last Sunday of September. Classes are conducted throughout the day, and keynote addresses are presented each evening. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to connect with Christians from around the world and to hear important subjects addressed by expert presenters.
Area Churches: As Harding supports and encourages spiritual development, we realize that a university is no substitute for the Church. Involvement with a local congregation is an essential component in spiritual transformation, especially during the college years. Area churches offer abundant opportunities for students to belong and serve. The University frequently encourages students not to neglect this vital piece of their education.
Campaigns: Harding University has always been a leader in world missions. Many students are introduced to this important work through Spring Break Campaigns and short-term international summer mission trips sponsored by GO! (Global Outreach).
Chapel: A daily 35-minute chapel service has been a cherished tradition at Harding since our founding in 1924. This is a time devoted to worship and the building of community. Today it is where you can still hear the heartbeat of this university.
College of Bible and Ministry: An important aspect of our institutional identity is our belief in the Bible as the fully inspired and authoritative word of God. We hold it to be “God-breathed” and the basis of our teaching and life. The Bible is central to our goal of spiritual transformation in the life of everyone at Harding. Consequently, all full-time Harding students are required to enroll in a Bible class each semester.
Devotionals: Student-led periods of worship are a constant occurrence on campus. Social clubs, dorms, and majors are just a few of the groups that organize regular devotionals. Singing and praying together, whether around the lily pool on the front lawn or in a dorm room after curfew, is one of the most cherished memories of many Harding graduates.
Women in God’s Service (WINGS): WINGS (Women in God’s Service) is a ministry for and by Christian women that offers Scripture-based programs designed to encourage spiritual growth. WINGS provides resources to equip women for Christian service as they use their God-given talents to face the challenges of life.
Opportunities abound for cultural growth through participation in music and dramatic productions, art shows, lectures and special events. These include the fall Homecoming musical production, Spring Sing, and senior shows, recitals and theatrical presentations.
The Lyceum Committee and the Student Association Student Activities Committee bring outstanding professional performers and concerts to campus. Academic departments sponsor visiting lecturers in their respective disciplines. The American Studies Institute brings world-renowned speakers in industry, business, education and government to campus. Frequently, the University sponsors culturally oriented trips, such as performances of Opera Memphis and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
Cocurricular and Extracurricular Activities
More than 80 student organizations, including professional clubs, social clubs, honor societies, athletic teams and special-interest organizations offer social and recreational opportunities as a part of the total educational process. These include:
Athletics: Athletics play an important role in Harding’s educational and recreational life.
The Athletic Committee administers intercollegiate sports in harmony with established policies approved by the faculty, and competition is regulated by the educational purposes of the University. In the conduct of intercollegiate athletics, the University administration subscribes to the Athletic Policy of the Commission of Colleges and Universities of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Intercollegiate competition is sponsored through membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The program is administered in compliance with the NCAA rules and regulations concerning the principles of fair play and amateur athletics, the physical welfare of student-athletes, and the academic success of student-athletes.
Men’s teams are fielded in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and track. Women’s teams include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and volleyball.
Student athletes must be regularly enrolled in at least 12 semester hours and must have passed no fewer than 24 hours the previous two semesters with a satisfactory cumulative grade point average. Participation is limited to four years during the first 10 semesters of undergraduate enrollment.
Harding’s outstanding intramural program involves about 70 percent of men and 55 percent of women students. The program includes both team and individual sports, with competition among social clubs and teams organized by the program directors. The major sports are flag football, softball, basketball and volleyball.
Communication Activities: Intercollegiate debate teams participate in several major tournaments each year and have achieved an excellent record in state, regional and national competitions.
Students participate in station management, production and announcing at two radio stations on campus. A low-power AM broadcast station provides hands-on training for beginning students. A full-power commercial FM station serves Central Arkansas as the “voice of Harding University.” The FM station is also available on the Internet.
Students in mass communication produce news, sports, entertainment, religious, and special-event programs for airing on Harding’s cable channel 16. TV-16 is reserved exclusively for Harding students and faculty through a special arrangement with White County Video. The station is operated by approximately 120 students per year.
Student publications provide a factual record of the year’s events and a laboratory for student writing, editing and design. The weekly newspaper, the Bison, has regularly won awards in state and national competitions, including First Class and All-American ratings from the Associated Collegiate Press. The yearbook, the Petit Jean, was honored consecutively for 27 years with an All-American rating from the Associated Collegiate Press and was one of two universities chosen for inclusion in the ACP Hall of Fame at its initiation in 1988. Additionally, the Petit Jean has also been honored as a Gold and Silver Crown Winner from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. The English Department annually publishes Shapes and Names, a magazine of creative writing submitted by students to the Jo Cleveland Creative Writing Contest.
Communication Sciences: The Student Speech and Hearing Association is composed of individuals working toward a major in communication sciences and disorders. This organization is affiliated with the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Projects include trips to regional and national meetings and other professionally oriented activities.
Dead Week: Student organizations may not hold any meetings, functions, or sponsored events during the dead week period. Any exception to these restrictions must be authorized in advance by the Office of Student Life.
Honor/Scholarship Societies: Harding has chapters of national and international honor societies that are members of the Association of College Honor Societies, which sets the high standards for such groups. These include general societies that are open to students from all fields, and others that represent specific disciplines.
Alpha Chi is the University’s top academic honor society for upper-division students in all fields, with membership open to the top 10 percent of the junior class (3.85 grade-point-average on 80+ hours) and of the senior class (3.75 grade-point-average on 104+ hours). Twenty-four hours in residence are required. Harding is home to the national headquarters of Alpha Chi, which supports chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide.
Omicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honor society recognizing and encouraging superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character. Invited to membership are juniors and seniors with outstanding academic records and leadership in one of the following areas: athletics; campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech or the mass media; and the creative or performing arts. Typically, less than 1 percent of the student body qualify for induction.
Phi Eta Sigma is the freshman honor society open to students who achieve a 3.5 grade point average in their first year of college.
The discipline-specific honor societies are as follows: Delta Mu Delta (business), Kappa Delta Pi (education), Kappa Omicron Nu (family and consumer sciences), Phi Alpha Theta (history), Pi Sigma Alpha (political science), Psi Chi (psychology), Sigma Tau Delta (English), and Sigma Theta Tau (nursing).
Music Organizations: The Department of Music sponsors several organizations open to all students by audition. These include the basketball pep band, Belle Canto, a women’s chorus; Belles and Beaux, a pop music group; Chamber Singers, a select group performing small ensemble literature; the Chorus and the Concert Choir, mixed choruses; Good News Singers, a gospel contemporary Christian octet; Jazz Band, performing traditional jazz and featured at Spring Sing; the Orchestra, which performs various works for orchestra; the Percussion ensemble; String Quartet, an invitational ensemble; the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, rehearsing from late fall through spring, performing concert and symphonic band literature; and the Thundering Herd Marching Band, meeting regularly in the fall and marching for Bison football games.
Social Clubs: Social clubs involve a large majority of Harding students. Both women’s clubs and men’s clubs provide students with a variety of club interests and sizes. In contrast to most institutions, Harding assures club membership to all students who desire it. Organized to provide students opportunities to develop leadership abilities and cooperative attitudes, clubs engage in service projects, promote school spirit at University events, and enjoy banquets, parties, outings, interclub athletics and Spring Sing participation.
The Student Association represents the student body to the administration and provides outlets for students to be involved in meaningful activities that support the mission of the university.
The SA Executive Council is made up of four elected officers - president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. The SA Senate is made up of a male and female representative for each class and international representative(s). The executive committee and the senate, except the freshman class representatives, are elected in the spring semester for the following year. Freshman class representatives are elected in the fall semester of the year they serve.
The SA also supports no more than 12 standing committees whose chairmen and members are nominated by the SA president and approved by vote of the Executive Council, the senate, the SA sponsors, and the administration.
Student Publications: Student publications provide a factual record of the year’s events and a laboratory for student writing, editing and design. The weekly newspaper, the Bison, has regularly won awards in state and national competitions, including First Class and All-American ratings from the Associated Collegiate Press. The yearbook, the Petit Jean, was honored consecutively for 27 years with an All-American rating from the Associated Collegiate Press and was one of two universities chosen for inclusion in the ACP Hall of Fame at its initiation in 1988. Additionally, the Petit Jean has also been honored as a Gold and Silver Crown Winner from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. The English Department annually publishes Shapes and Names, a magazine of creative writing submitted by students to the Jo Cleveland Creative Writing Contest.
Theatre Activities: Faculty- and student-directed theatrical productions, including the annual Homecoming musical, are presented each year. Each spring the Department of Theatre produces Spring Sing, a large scale musical variety show featuring approximately 1,000 student performers. Each summer students participate in musicals, comedies, and dramas through performance and technical production work in the Searcy Summer Dinner Theatre. The Department of Theatre sponsors Pied Pipers, an improvisational children’s troupe that regularly tours both domestically and internationally.