After three years and counting at Mercer University, I have noticed a disturbing trend. Sadly, I have even been a part of this.
When the average Mercer student walks up to an activity, they are just there to get points or extra credit for a class they’re taking.
This ruins otherwise great presentation audiences and participation from people who might actually enjoy the program.
Now before I start ranting about this problem, I will confess that I have been a part of this predicament on campus.
I am not proud that I have done this, but I am glad I’ve finally realized that it hurts both the morale and mood of the presenter.
For instance, when we have foreign dignitaries come to speak to our great campus, it is a great insult to both them and the university.
If you traveled thousands of miles, I am 99% sure that you would feel horribly insulted if half of your audience got up and left.
Just a few days ago, I was at the lost chalice service where the archbishop of the country of Georgia traveled over 6000 miles to come perform the Eucharist.
I know that not all people subscribe to Christianity.
I know that people have many things to do in their lives.
I know it was just a class requirement. Nevertheless, this does not excuse highly disrespectful behavior.
Just because you have a paper to finish, it does not give you the right or the privilege to be a jerk.
I have been to enough debates, lectures and roundtable discussions that I have learned it is possible to be an active participant and still get work done.
While last week I said it was a joke that people were forced to go to a lecture, I did not and do not want every Mercer program to become mandatory.
Instead, there needs to be some kind of system that promotes and benefits the students who attend the entire program.
I really think if a professor makes you go to a program, then they should be there too.
While I will probably get much flak for that statement, only emergencies and non-required events should be times where the professor is not in attendance.
I recognize that we all have incredibly busy lives, and there are problems getting work done in a short time span.
However, part of college and growing up is time management.
Because you partied, played video games, or wasted your time, you should not take it out on someone who is just trying to present something they care deeply about by walking out on them.
This epidemic is not going to be solved by students complaining that professors give them too much work. It will be solved by students better managing their time.
Maybe a study skills course would be beneficial to the majority of the student body, for students would be able to have more free time.
Not only would participation and attendance go up, speakers and leaders would be happier to come back to a place where they actually feel wanted.
On a similar note, this time management strategy could also benefit the attendance at Mercer sports games from women’s volleyball to tennis and everything in between.
The Bears will play better with a full crowd behind them. Some promotions might help as well, but this economy limits that.
In essence, it’s rather frustrating to be a part of a special ceremony and see Mercer students just walk out after their class requirement is met.
This disheartening attitude needs to be changed.
Obviously, if your professor has required this activity, it will be good for you in some aspect of the class or your life, even if you lose an hour.
I just hope that at least a few of you take these words to heart, for I would really like to see this begin to change by my graduation in May.
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