The Lakeland Mirror

Karalee Manis, Managing Editor

The theory behind convocations being required is, in my opinion, sound.

Should students be exposed to events or ideas that are outside their norm, be presented with new or conflicting perspectives and experiences, be open to artistic and cultural events?

Yes, of course.

If these are reasons for and standards by which a convocation is held to, students shouldn’t have a problem with attending, right?

The issue is that many of these events are of no interest, of no value or of no importance to students.  

I’ve attended convocations that have left me on the edge of sleep, have offended students or have been so poorly attended it was laughable.  I’ve also attended events that have been interesting and entertaining.

These good ones, though, are few and far between.

I understand that for many of these events, the only way to get students to go is to make them one of the required options. This is unfortunate for both attendees and performers.

Forcing people to go to an event makes for a lackluster audience, something that I’m sure plays into the resistance of forced attendance.

Furthermore, I don’t think this requirement caters to all students equally.  

As a commuter, it works out best for me to go to events scheduled at the 11 a.m. time slot, as I know I can almost always be on campus at this time.

When an event is in the late afternoon, in the evening or on weekends – as more than half of the 2015-2016 convocation events are – I am typically unable to be on campus, severely limiting the options I have in choosing the events I must attend to graduate.

This is not fair to those who live off campus, have evening or weekend jobs or just have a sh*t-ton of homework to do.

I can count on one hand the number of good convocations I’ve been to in the last year and half of offered events and I’ve attended 15 in that time.

If the college truly wants to give us quality educational experiences, they need to live up to their standards for what they deem a worthy event and offer those events with more frequency and at times when all students can attend.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt if the events were actually of interest to students and were such that attendance was a want rather than a need.

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