Amanda Bagnall-Newman, Website Editor

Lakeland’s mission statement reads: “Lakeland College educates women and men of diverse backgrounds, preparing them to think critically, to communicate effectively, to succeed professionally, and to lead ethical, purposeful and fulfilling lives…”

While we may claim we live diverse lifestyles, some Lakeland students have never passed the borders of the United States or experienced a culture different from their own. Lakeland has had valued principles of a liberal arts education since its founding, convocations aim to support those.

A liberal arts college aspires to expose students to different ideas and cultures. By holding convocations, and requiring attendance, students experience things and ideas they wouldn’t normally encounter.

No convocation is silly: the event intends to entertain, inform or provoke thought.  Each one seeks to change your perspective somehow, some way. To qualify for convocation credit, events must be educational and must further develop one’s understanding of the world.

Students’ attendance is laughably low at times, encouraging them to attend with graduation requirement is a fair way to raise turnout. Most students wouldn’t typically attend these events without a ‘gentle shove’ in the right direction. However, once there they might discover a new interest or passion.

Convocations are one of the easiest ways to learn about new cultures or mindsets different from your own. People from around the globe are invited to Lakeland to share their experiences with our students, the least we can do is be there to hear their message.

I fulfilled all 24 of my requirements by the end of sophomore year without trying. The key is to attend whenever you have the chance or if any of the events seem remotely interesting to you.

For those who struggle fulfilling their convocation credits, let me help you with a few ideas:

Artist exhibits are held multiple times each semester and include free snacks and refreshments. Enjoying a gallery filled with art is the easiest way to grab a convocation credit, and let me stress this again: free food!

Plays and musicals are held each semester and are always entertaining. These are student-run, so grab a ticket and help support your fellow Muskies.

Honors recitals showcase the best of Lakeland’s musicians and are the students’ way to show the community what they have accomplished.

So expand your horizons and attend a convocation, they are free, educational and a requirement.