Walking down the hallways on campus students may feel as if they are constantly being bombarded with flyers and banners placed every few feet about different speakers that are set to appear on campus.
Despite this, many students still don’t realize the wide range of speakers that appear on campus nor do many of them have or take the time to attend these events.
Speakers are invited to present on campus in two main ways. First, the UVUSA is given $100,000 a year out of student fees to be used exclusively for bringing in a variety of different speakers.
These speakers are chosen through information gathered from student surveys to help insure that the student’s priorities are being met. The speakers chosen generally have big name recognition or deal with a sensitive issue. This strategy usually results in good attendance to these events.
However, these events do not account for all the speakers we have on campus. Each of the individual schools also has the opportunity to bring their own speakers.
“Each school is given an allotment of money and they decide how much money they will give towards speakers,” said Christopher Loumeau, vice president of student academics.
Because of this, when the schools invite speakers, they usually don’t have the luxury of bringing in big names that attract the larger crowds.
To help resolve this problem without cutting back on the number of speakers, many departments bring in people from around the community who do not charge a speakers fee. Although these speakers are generally professionals in their field with a wide range of knowledge and experience, these events may not have as large a turn out.
Students are encouraged to attend, as these events are put on to provide great opportunities for them to get more out of their education.
Richard Portwood, student body president, said that this is one of the main goals of the student officers this year.
“We are trying to enhance the student’s educational experience while here,” Portwood said.
Dr. Mark Bracken, head of the Biology department, also stressed the importance of students attending these events. The mission of higher education is to become lifelong learners, according to Bracken. Once graduated and into a career attending symposiums, lectures and peer reviews are commonplace.
“You need to get into the habit now,” Bracken said.
Attending these events will also provide students with more up to date information. Much of the information found in textbooks is not completely current. These speakers give students the opportunity to hear about what is going on around the world and in their field of study five to 10 years before it will appear in the textbooks.
By making time to attend a few more of these events, the hope is that a student can help ensure that they are staying up to date with many important issues. They also hope to make certain that students are getting the most out of their education.