New take on convo adds opportunities for students

Posted on October 5, 2015

Lecture-style events like the recent address by Dr. Rosaria Butterfield (pictured here in Lesesne Auditorium) represent the traditional model for convocation.

A recent address by Dr. Rosaria Butterfield represents the traditional convo model.

College students listen to many lectures, and good lectures are given at Erskine every day. Convocation credit, which Erskine students are required to earn, is most often given for guest lecture programs in an auditorium setting.

This semester, Erskine has rolled out a new model for convocation that is being offered in addition to the lecture model. Integrating competencies from the core curriculum, Erskine’s new “Campus Life and Residence Life Convocation Opportunities” are themed sessions scheduled outside the usual convocation hours.

Coordinator for Campus Life Kaley Lindquist

Kaley Lindquist

As Coordinator for Campus Life Kaley Lindquist explains, these sessions represent “a co-curricular approach to learning that supplements what is happening in the classroom, in convocation, in Bible studies.” They are not meant to replace lecture-style convocations.

“Because these convocation opportunities are programmed, the students get to be part of the learning experience in hands-on and creative ways,” Lindquist said. “They can have fun with their friends while enjoying an introduction to the core competencies.”

The proposed Campus Life and Residence Life model was approved by the Convocation Committee, headed by Professor of Philosophy Dr. David Reiter. Students on the committee include Tim Nabholz, Cody Raines, Amanda Strickland, and Ashley Strickland.

Tim Nabholz, left, and Amanda Strickland are among the students serving on the Convocation Committee.

Tim Nabholz, left, and Amanda Strickland

Reiter expressed appreciation for the development of “new styles of convo programming,” adding that the committee is “especially excited about the way that this Campus Life convo programming is organized around the Core Competencies of the Core Curriculum.”

Vice President for Communications Cliff Smith, who serves as an advisor to the Convocation Committee, stressed that the core curriculum “is at the heart of the Erskine approach to education” and noted that this new model provides “tangible and visible connections to the core curriculum.”

“We are hoping students will experience greater integration of campus life experience and academic experience,” Reiter said.

“Convocation is an incredibly important aspect of what Erskine does—liberal arts education that puts Christ first,” Lindquist said.

“We are simply giving opportunities outside of the auditorium for students to engage. The purpose is to meet students’ needs in relevant ways while staying true to who we are as a Christian institution in the 21st century.”

The Campus Life convocation core competency for September was “Communicating Clearly and Creatively,” focusing on social media literacy. For October, the core competency theme is “Seeking Faithful Understanding,” and for November, “Engaging Society as Neighbor and Citizen.”