Our View: Forum events are a luxury

by Simpsonian Staff

Last week, former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson came to Simpson College to address the campus community in the annual Culver Center
Lecture. While there were a number of students at the lecture, there could have been more present.
Lectures and forum events are a luxury that is provided to the students at Simpson College. However, many students do not attend many of these events and functions. Many times, the only reason that students
attend lectures like these are because professors make attending forums and lectures mandatory, or allot extra credit if students attend.
While this is a decent attempt to drive students, students at Simpson should become more excited and motivated to get out and attend these lectures.
Many times the college is able to bring in scholars and professionals that are top heads in the “elds they work in. This year, Simpson has had radio columnist Jim Hightower, UCLA professor and climate scientist Laurence C. Smith, and Alan Simpson as mentioned earlier.
To be able to have these people come to campus and hear from them is an amazing opportunity that students should be taking part in. After they graduate and leave Simpson, the chance to see and hear these people will largely be gone.
Student attendance to forum events is also very important to Simpson, as we pride ourselves on being a strong liberal arts school. The focus of a liberal arts education is to become a well-rounded individual and not solely focus on one area of study. The forum and lecture events are a great way for students to actively participate in this style of learning.
The school offers events and lectures that spread across numerous different “elds of academia. With this, for example, a political science major can attend a forum event on molecular physics and gain knowledge in a new area. Sure, while they won’t go and become physics for NASA, they are still able to attain knowledge they wouldn’t have had they not attended the forum events.
Most important, forum events help bring the campus community closer. Simpson is a small school, and with it prides itself on community. By attending forum events, students are able to mingle with their peers and faculty and staff in an environment that isn’t
necessarily class-related.
Forum events can also help drive discussion around campus, bringing to life new ideas that can help set the school in a forward direction.
While college students are naturally busy, forum events only take a short time out of a college student’s schedule. Every semester, students should challenge themselves to go to one forum on their own 

without being driven by a professor to do so. Who knows, what they learn may strike a spark and have them thinking diffrently about the world.