Students prove to be apathetic

By Molly Brown

Contributing Writer

Here at the University, students have copious opportunities for learning, both in and out of the classroom.  From guest lecturers and film screenings to concerts and artistic showcases, there is always something to go see.  Despite the immense opportunities, students do not embrace these occasions as much as they should, or even at their own free will.

Recently I attended a poetry reading by Mark Doty in Bucknell Hall.  Much to my surprise (and delight), it was packed full of students, faculty and members of the Lewisburg community.  As I sat down next to an acquaintance of mine, she turned to me and conversationally asked, “What class are you here for?”  When I responded that I was there by choice she looked astounded.  I surveyed the room and then asked, “Are all these kids here for classes?” The answer was, unfortunately, yes.

I understand that professors require their students to attend lectures outside of class, and this is not a complaint against that but rather a comment on the relative apathy of students to attend academically or artistically-based extracurricular events.  The fact that the common sentiment at one such event is “my professor’s making us go” is deplorable.  The only time there seems to be heavy student involvement is when the scheduled event has a sort of degree of prestige attached to it, like the recent John Legend concert or Herman Boone’s appearance last semester.  As a frequent attendee of events at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, the John Legend concert was the only time I have seen it at full-capacity, despite the fact that the Weis Center for the Performing Arts brings in some of the highest-caliber artists week after week.

Students at the University are highly motivated, but that motivation should not be limited only to the classroom.  There should be an equal balance of work and play, but we as students are here to learn.  The University is bringing in a wide variety of opportunities for us to broaden our studies, and they are included in our tuition.  At the end of our time here, how wisely will we have spent the hefty sum if we, as a collective body, do not take advantage of these writers, thinkers, innovators and artists?  How can we succeed if we do not take example from those who have and follow their examples?

Many students will use the timing of these events as reasons for their nonattendance.  Many students wish to socialize and have fun after fulfilling their academic duties in class, and these events may take place during the evenings in the prime party times.  It should be noted, however, that most of these events take an hour to an hour and a half at most.  If a lecture starts at 7 p.m. on a Wednesday night, there is still ample time to go out after the event.  The same is true of a performance on a Friday or Saturday evening–they rarely go past 9 or 9:30 p.m.

The flyers promoting the lectures, films, concerts, and readings are not plastered throughout campus because the administration is in want of wallpaper.  They exist to alert the student body to events that carry merit, whether academically, artistically, socially or spiritually, and students need to be aware of this.  If students only attend these events to preserve their letter grades, is this the same mentality in which they plan to live their future jobs and lives, only doing the bare minimum and not seeking to reach their fullest potential?  The choice is up to you.


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