Over 70 College Program Series (CPS) events were offered on campus this semester. This tightly packed calendar has come to be a burden on not only the CPS, but the students.
The CPS is a beneficial program for our campus, but too many programs can bog students down. The program aims to enhance our academic environment and promote learning outside of the classroom.
Most weeks have CPS events every night, and some nights are scheduled with multiple CPS events. This leads to students having to choose between events, or forfeiting attendance to one event in favor of another.
Heather Vincent, associate professor of classics, will be taking on the title of associate dean of faculty for general education.
“With fewer than 2,000 students, we need to consider how many events we can actually pull off and do well within a one-term period,” Vincent said.
Eckerd brings many speakers and experts on campus to present at CPS events. According to Vincent, when a CPS event with a prominent speaker gets overshadowed by other events, attendance suffers. Small audiences for prominent speakers reflects badly on Eckerd and its students.
“A National Book Award winner might get lost in the shuffle because of another event, and no one really wants to see that happen when we pay to bring scholars, artists and public figures,” Vincent said. “We want students to know that the events are important and consider attending.”
According to Vincent, the criteria of a CPS event should appeal to the broader community and enhance the intellectual and artistic environment at Eckerd. Some CPS events don’t necessarily fill that role.
“I think some things shouldn’t count as a CPS event. Some of them are just freebie give-aways,” Co-President of the Vegan Club and first-year Sydney Vannoy said.
Vannoy, who has proposed three CPS events this semester, is familiar with the CPS struggle. Students need to attend a minimum of 16 CPS events to graduate, which gives an incentive to attend, but many students attend events they don’t care about to receive the credit.
“I think its annoying that’s all people care about,” Vannoy said. “You should go to events because you want to come, not because you’re going to get an incentive out of it.”
One proposed solution to this problem is to be more careful when approving events. To propose an event, a student needs to submit a proposal form listing the construction, qualifications and appeal of the event to the community of Eckerd.
“We simply need to pay attention to making sure that everything that is proposed meets all of the criteria on that proposal form,” Vincent said.
CPS events are certainly a good thing, and we should be grateful that our campus dedicates a program for enrichment in our personal lives. But when the schedule is cluttered with too many events, the program begins to work against its original purpose. Next semester, the CPS selection process should be a little bit more careful to make every CPS event count.