By Kelsi Peace, Features Editor
Students desire a larger role in Lectureship, but feel they can’t play it-and there’s a Facebook group to prove it.
The new Lectureship student track offers a venue tailored for student involvement, and the 40 student members of the committee that helped organize the 15-hour student track plan to strike a compromise with administration that will allow more students to attend Lectureship in 2007. Committee member Shelby Coates, senior broadcast journalism major from Clarksville, Tenn., created the Facebook group “Yeah- I’d go to Lectureship if my Teachers would let me out of Class” as a means to hear from the student body, and as of Thursday morning, the group had 273 members. Coates, senior senator, and fellow committee member Brandon Smith, junior senator and political science major from Keller, proposed a resolution at Wednesday’s SA meeting “requesting faculty to allow students more opportunity to attend lectureship events.” Congress unanimously passed the resolution, and Smith said, the next step is to present the case to the Faculty Senate.
“We’re not coming in and saying, ‘We want all of our classes canceled,'” Coates said.
The idea behind the request is essentially to request a more lenient attendance policy during Lectureship to encourage student involvement – whether that means offering incentives to attend, meeting at a lecture as a class or canceling class, Smith said.
Coates and Smith said they are confident they will be able to strike a compromise with administration. Smith also said the committee scheduled the student-track lectures for the afternoons or late evenings to avoid conflict with classes as much as possible.
The student committee formed last semester after members of the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building and Dr. Wayne Barnard, former dean of spiritual formation, decided to create a student track. The group, which Coates said was impressively diverse, selected the top ten speakers and topic choices.
Prospective speakers include Dr. Mike Cope, adjunct professor of Bible, Missions and Ministry, a representative of the XXX Church, which ministers to people addicted to and involved with pornography, and Audio Adrenaline’s lead singer, Mark Stuart. Speakers will address topics the committee selected, including conservatives and progressives in the church, worship styles, roles within the church and outreach ministry.
Kathy Koch has been invited to address “multiple intelligences,” or gifts ranging from “nature smart” to “people smart,” which she discusses in her book “How Am I Smart?: A parent’s guide to multiple intelligences.” Students will be able to take a self-survey that will profile their gifts.
Jordan Ziemer, Don Morris representative and freshman broadcast journalism and political science double major from Houston, suggested inviting Koch to speak because he said it may help the ACU community better understand one another.
“We’re talking a lot about racism on campus right now,” Ziemer said. “We don’t understand ourselves sometimes, so by coming to a better understanding of ourselves, we come to a better understanding of our community and gel better as a community.”
Invitations have been sent to all prospective speakers, but none have been confirmed yet.
The steps that remain for the committee are to approach the Faculty Senate for support and to ensure students make an appearance at Lectureship. Smith said an advertising campaigned geared toward students is planned for the fall.
“Once we get approved, we’re ready to let students know, ‘Hey, this is for you,” Coates said. “We took your ideas and ran with them.”