The Lecture/Performance Series at the University of Indianapolis is a required credit for every student to graduate. Students are required to go to different L/P events around campus and after going to ten they get half of the credit for the class and once they attend 20 they get the other half. More often than not many students end up procrastinating and gain little value from the performance credits other than long, and most of the time boring, lectures that do not grab the students’ attention. After a student’s freshman year, the requirement does not serve a strong enough purpose to be mandatory for graduation.
Freshmen come to campus not knowing about the events that are offered, and admittedly L/P is a good way to teach them. However, once they transition into their sophomore and junior years, they tend to know what’s going on around campus. Forcing students to attend events, events that they may have no interest in, just to get the credit wastes the students’ and presenters’ time.
Another problem with the L/P requirement is that making L/P credit available for many UIndy events serves to convince students to attend. I do not believe that credit must be offered to get students to attend an event. Many students who work in performance-based majors, such as theatre, have to be able to draw a crowd. That is an integral part of the field they are going into. People in those majors have to be able to market their shows and presentations to an audience to bring in a crowd. Omitting the marketing of these events can leave students clueless, when they venture into the workforce, as to why they are not achieving the same attendance numbers that they did in college. While L/P credit does create an opportunity for freshmen to discover examples of the applied work that students do, relying on L/P credit as a marketing strategy could, in the long run, hurt the future careers of the students producing these events.
Another problem with the current system is that students are busy. Many hold jobs, on campus or off, while still trying to complete all their schoolwork. Busy students may not have the time to go to events on campus, but the university requires them to do so. A large number of these L/P events take place in the afternoons or evenings when students may have jobs or other commitments that they cannot miss. The university should not force a student to choose between earning a paycheck and going to an L/P event.
If changing the L/P program to something for freshmen only is not a viable option, then another potential solution could be to increase the variety of events that fall under L/P. Adding events that students have a strong desire to attend, such as sporting events on campus, which already draw large student crowds, could make it easier for students. The student athletes work incredibly hard, and athletic events can attract many students. Having these events part of L/P in some way could encourage students to root for their classmates and help bring a better sense of support and community to the campus.
Students inevitably will experience new things when they get to college. Forcing them to attend campus events when they may not have the time is unnecessary. While these events may be beneficial to those who attend, I find no sense in forcing students to go to something they may have no interest in attending. The L/P program may have worthy goals, but its implementation is flawed.