Event failures indicative of pathetic student apathy
April 17, 2006 —
I am fed up with the overwhelming student apathy on this campus. Can't take it anymore. Don't understand it.
A group from the Marketing 331 class had a speed dating event scheduled for Wednesday at 8 p.m. I wrote an article detailing when and where the event was being held, why it was being held, and why it should be a fun event to attend. I did my part. The rest of the student body did not.
Zero people attended the event. Zero. I don't get it.
Before I continue, let me say two things. One, the main organizer of the event, Ryan Stokes, has been a friend of mine since fourth grade. Despite this, I am not writing this column because he was the organizer. In fact, I have not talked to him since early Wednesday, when he was passing out flyers for the event. Two, I did not attend the event because I attended the political symposium to write the article about it located on Page 2. If I had not attended that, I most certainly would have either attended speed dating or covered it myself. I found it that interesting.
When Ryan came to me to see if the Vanguard would be interested in previewing the event, I took the story not because he was my friend but because I thought that if I could push an event that I found interesting - and trust me, there are not many that I do - that it would only serve to increase the turnout that much more. When I write articles previewing events, I find myself attached to that event even more and hope for the best in terms of turnout. Therefore, saying I was pissed that nobody showed up for this thing would be an understatement.
Again, I don't get it. I have two possible explanations, both of which are likely, considering this apathetic student body, but also unfortunate.
Wednesday night featured three events, as far as I know. One was speed dating, the second was the symposium I attended, and the third was the Ember Swift concert sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance. The symposium was well-attended, considering it was held in a classroom. That is certainly no dig at the Center for Politics and Public Service nor those that attended. I simply realize the focus of the symposium - how a candidate can get on the ballot - is not all that interesting to this student body. And while I did not attend the concert, judging by what I have heard, the banquet rooms on the second floor of Curtiss Hall were not exactly packed.
So, Wednesday had three events that theoretically should have been tearing students apart in deciding which one to attend. So instead of choosing one of the three, most of the student body chose none. Huh?
Focusing more on the speed dating event itself offers another explanation. One of the Vanguard's reporters, Paul White, volunteered to cover the event because he was both interested in the event itself and interested in seeing how many people would actually show. When Stokes came to me with the event, my only knowledge of speed dating was that of the movie Hitch, when Eva Mendes takes her emotionally hurt friend to a speed dating event while Will Smith turns the thing into a disaster. Regardless, I liked the idea. Other people I talked to liked the idea. Stokes pushed the event enormously. Still, no one showed.
I think I know why - it was something different. God forbid someone tries to bring something to the student body that this campus has not seen. In my four years here, I do not recall any sort of speed dating event or anything similar. Students here constantly complain that they are sick of everyone offering free pop and pizza to get them to attend boring events. It seems to me that the speed dating event was the exact opposite of that. Yet, that did not seem to make a difference. Maybe it was the price attached to attending the event, $10. Or maybe not - from what I have heard, Stokes offered students a chance to do it for free when he realized the event was bombing. Still, no dice.
After the symposium was finished Wednesday night, I walked into the Vanguard office to see a note from White that stated nobody attended speed dating. I could do no more but simply shake my head in disgust at an apathetic, hypocritical, inconsistent student body that is more interested in leaving campus to go home than trying something different for a change. Instead of writing a column praising Stokes for his idea, I have written one questioning the student body. And really, I am not surprised. Shame on you all.