This academic year, I’ve attended multiple events on campus packed to the gills with attendants. Students and professors alike fill every chair before sharing floor space sitting cross-legged as kindergarteners gathering for story time.
Yet, other events go on every day with just a sparse, disinterested few in attendance.
What’s the difference between these two scenarios? Are some events simply way more exciting than others? The answer is yes but the true reason behind the disparity in attendance boils down to something else entirely—whether or not students can score some extra credit for showing up.
“It’s terrible to say, but most college students need the bribe to get to the event,” said Ferris allied health science freshman Sierra Wurmnest.
This belief was echoed by Ferris social studies education and secondary education freshman Lacey Story following a packed campus event in February.
“I hate to say that this is why, but a lot of classes kind of pimped it out for extra credit,” Story said. “I wish I could say that most people are here because of the topic. I think some of them there were definitely very interested to hear what was said, but then others were like, ‘I’m just going to get my extra credit and go.’”
To many students are showing up to events just because of the extra credit it could earn them. It’s unfortunate that this is oftentimes the reason but it’s not without its merits.
“It gives more knowledge to the students and lets us know what’s going on in the world instead of just what’s going on in our state or our little town. It gives us a big perception on different people and different information,” Wurmnest said.
With multiple film screenings, meetings, guest speakers and more each week, there is no shortage of diverse perspective making its way to Ferris.
To properly take advantage of this, there should be more incentive to attend events coming from professors in the form of classroom credit.
It shouldn’t be up to professors to motivate interest in events, but it is undoubtedly the most effective means to do so and it makes an excellent learning opportunity for students.
“I think it’s beneficial because a lot of people wouldn’t go to these things if there wasn’t the credit,” Story said. “They wouldn’t learn these important things. Even if they’re only doing it for the credit, they take away knowledge because they came here.”