EDITORIAL: An appeal for participation

Opportunities for entertainment on campus are plentiful. As students, if we find ourselves without something to do, it’s entirely our own faults.

The university allocates a significant amount of money toward events designed to provide students with an educational, but entertaining experience during our time on campus – and it’s our responsibility to take advantage of the opportunities.

The athletic department receives an $18 million subsidy from the university to supplement their $24.6 million budget. University events, conference services and events center operations are budgeted for an additional $500,000.

Including Program Board and performances within the communications and dramatic arts departments, activities for students take a hefty, but entirely necessary financial toll on the university.

However, attendance for these events is repeatedly below par.

In 2012, football attendance failed to reach NCAA Division I standards. Program Board brought B.o.B. to campus last year, but 29 percent of the tickets were never sold.

These figures are unacceptable. By failing to attend campus events, we are depriving ourselves of valuable college experiences as well as the opportunity to provide much-needed support to our fellow students.

For $5, why wouldn’t you want to see Jim Belushi perform in Plachta Auditorium? If CMU is paying $125,000 to bring in former Secretary of State Colin Powell, why not give him your time?

World-renown anthropologist Jane Goodall, “Batman” producer Michael Uslan and rock band The All-American Rejects have all been on campus over the past couple years.

We should have seen them all.

These events afford students the opportunity to expand their horizons, hear new ideas and, ultimately, add some variety to the typical college curriculum. However, these events, specifically within athletics, require student support.

“We feed off the energy that the fans bring us,” basketball superstar Crystal Bradford said after a December game.

The noise of the crowd can play a huge role in any game. It’s the reason playing at home offers the team an advantage. When students don’t attend games and support our athletics, it can have a real impact on the outcome of the season.

Outside of athletics, poor attendance figures send a message to the university that we do not appreciate these events. Fewer people equates to smaller profits and ultimately a reduced budget for future opportunities.

Particularly for upperclassmen, the lack of involvement shows. When first arriving at CMU, these events can provide a conduit for meeting new people and help to familiarize students with campus – but the same benefits can come as a junior or senior.

Upperclassmen can help to set the standard for younger students on campus. Active participation sends a message to the university that we appreciate these events. Lack of involvement could deny future students the same opportunity that we seem to be so keen to throw away.

CMU ensures that events remain affordable, if not free for students.

The university is doing all it can to encourage students to get involved – the responsibility falls on us if we want the opportunities to continue.


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