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Editorial Staff

We are just going to say it: convocation requirements are the bane of almost every Lakeland student’s existence. The current prerequisite for graduation is 24 convocations over the span of one’s Lakeland career. If a student attends three convocations every semester, it is not a completely unreasonable request. But it is made that much harder by the fact that essentially no information is given to students about upcoming convocations. All students can do is either walk blindly into the Bradley Theatre or choose not to attend, with many choosing the latter.

One can only attend so many choir and band concerts, and there are usually only two major student drama productions in a school year, so these convocations must be supplemented by lectures. Students know what to expect at concerts and can read a synopsis of the plays on Wikipedia before deciding to attend, but proper advertising becomes crucial when dealing with speakers.

Individual presenters can be controversial. Yes, we realize that convocations are meant to expand one’s horizons, but certain topics can be troubling to some people. For example, if you have a relative who was a law enforcement officer and died in the line of duty, it can be pretty painful to hear someone speak against policemen.

For any speaker who visits campus, students need more information than a line on the Lakeland website about where the person attended school or a vague description of the speaker’s topic, such as “economic issues.”

If students are not informed about the topic, they might also skip out on a convocation that would have been an amazing experience for them simply due to the fact that no information was provided beforehand.

In an ideal situation, students would probably love to have more influence over the types of convocations offered. Many would also appreciate it if the school awarded convocation credit to student projects, such as student directed plays or honors students’ presentations. However, it would be a great start if the school simply provided more detailed descriptions of convocations in order for students to know exactly what they are attending.

People could argue that students should be conducting the research on lecturers for themselves, but few have the time or incentive to do that. Most would rather just not attend and continue the trend of watching videos of convocations in the library at the last minute in order to graduate.