Bad news, Scots who aren’t Scottish. President Abernathy has just released a statement saying that all students who are not Scottish by blood will be expelled.
Currently, students that are 100 percent Scottish are the only ones that will be allowed to remain on campus. If there are not enough students on campus after those who are fully Scottish have arrived and enrolled, the campus will begin to allow those who have a high amount of Scottish ancestry in their family to attend classes. The school stands firm on going no lower than 75 percent Scottish among their student body.
Many students still on campus have been asking one question: Will my credits transfer? The college’s reply? No. President Abernathy feels as though only students who are true Scots should be allowed to keep the credits they’ve earned from Alma.
Many students feel as though this new rule is unfair. “I feel like our school always preaches inclusiveness and welcomes people of all ethnicities and backgrounds, so this new rule is absolutely awful,” said Mackinley Prentice (‘20). Although this new rule will affect many students, the college still feels as though it will be more beneficial for Scottish students to learn while being surrounded by students of a similar background.
Some students feel as though this change is for the better and will allow campus to flourish in a way it has never before.
“Finally,” said Courtney Smith (‘21). “I first heard about it when I was touring here two years ago, so there’s definitely been buzz. I think it’s a good change. I mean, we call Alma, Michigan ‘Scotland USA’ yet there are students here who aren’t Scottish. It’s ridiculous.”
While the feedback has been both negative and positive, many students still need to decide what they’re going to do about this change. Some feel as though they’ll be able to fake being Scottish. “[I wear] a kilt most Saturdays during football season,” said Bridget Eshleman (‘20).
While some students are willing to attempt to fake their heritage, others are not entirely sure what this means for them. “I am still waiting for my 23 and Me results to come back, but I’m like 85 percent sure that I’m four percent Scottish,” said Prentice.
The college will rule with an iron fist, and they don’t intend to let students off easy. Each student will now need to send in their DNA to Ancestry DNA and give the information found to the college to ensure that all people enrolled meet the minimum Scottish heritage requirement.
Non-Scottish Scots need to begin making plans to ensure they know what they’ll be doing next semester. “I’m just going to go back to Indiana, where I’m from,” said Smith. Other students are still unsure whether or not this change will truly happen.
One positive that will come from this change is the full ride “Scots Scot” scholarship that is in the making. The college intends to give full rides to students who have definitive proof that they are, indeed, 100 percent Scottish. Presently, the college is anticipating that the attendance rate will skyrocket with scholarships such as this being awarded.
Many students have decided that they’re not leaving Alma College without a fight. “I would tell [President Abernathy] that this rule is absolutely outrageous and that we are all true Scots at heart,” said Prentice.
While most students will be wrapping up this semester with a heavy heart, there are a select few that feel as though this change is no big deal. “I’m not Scottish and, frankly, I know I should leave. I feel unwelcome. People always wave kilts and bagpipes in my face, all day long,” said Smith.
It is unsure if this new rule will apply to professors and administration as well, but workers of the college should be prepared for the college to come down on their heritage as
Whether or not students are happy with this change, it is said that it will be put into effect on April 20th, 2019, so students who are not Scottish need to begin preparing to start their fall semester elsewhere.