Late yesterday afternoon, the university apologized for one of its instructors who asked students to write "Jesus" on a piece of paper, throw it against the wall, and, well, stomp on it. This was surprising not because the exercise was a terrible, terrible idea -- though it was -- but because FAU NEVER APOLOGIZES.
But it did this time!
Based on the offensive nature of the exercise, we will not use it again and have issued an apology to the community. It was insensitive and unacceptable. We continue to apologize to all the people who were offended and deeply regret this situation has occurred.
The University holds dear its core values. We sincerely apologize for any offense this caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs.
The student, meanwhile, who stirred up the whole controversy, junior Ryan Rotela -- who said he was "suspended" for refusing to (metaphorically) stomp Jesus -- has rejoiced.
"FAU gave me everything I want," he proclaimed on Facebook late last night. "Victory!"
For Rotela, this was a campaign for the entire nation.
(If you're wondering whether we really did friend-request Rotela, the answer is yes.)
Rotela's Facebook page, meanwhile, was deluged with the ecstatic and triumphant. This wasn't apparently just a victory for America -- but a victory for the big guy.
"Thank the Lord!" bellowed Mimi Smith, electronically. "Justice for those who love the Lord!"
"God Blesses those who honor him!" boomed Patrick Smith.
Seconded Joseph Bates: "Thanks for CTR [Choosing The Right]!!"
It's unclear what academic discipline, if any, Rotela endured. He said he was suspended from class. But the school has refuted that time and again -- which it did once more yesterday:
"No students were forced to take part in the exercise," the university said in a statement. "The instructor told all of the students in the class that they could choose whether or not to participate. No students will be disciplined in any way related to this exercise, either inside or outside the classroom."