The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Mandatory Madness

Mandatory events don’t inspire students’ confidence

Last night, the SMU Class of 2010 herded into McFarlin Auditorium for a mandatory event entitled “Can I Kiss You?” The “lectureship” featured Mike Domitrz, the founder of “The Date Safe Project,” which promotes healthy relationships and encourages empowerment against sexual assault.

While educating students about healthy dating and how to avoid potentially dangerous situations is important, making an event like this mandatory is unacceptable.

Students, even first years, are adults and have many obligations outside of class and school. They should have the freedom to prioritize their schedules without the Dean of Student Life Office telling them what to do.

Events outside of the classroom should never be mandatory. If a program is that good, it shouldn’t need to be mandatory, people should want to attend. If students aren’t attending, maybe the people in charge need to reevaluate the programming they are putting on. Making events mandatory doesn’t fix the problem; it only makes it worse.

When an event goes from being something offered on campus for students to something that’s mandatory, the mood and atmosphere of the event totally changes. It goes from “This sounds like a great time!” to “When in the hell will this be over?!?!”

Last night’s lecture isn’t the only example of mandatory events gone wrong.

All incoming first-years are also required to take an online alcohol education course, “AlcoholEdu for College.” Not only does is this online survey mandatory for incoming students, it takes over three hours to complete!

In addition to its length, the program also has to be completed in two segments. You have to take the first portion now and take a second portion in a month.

This is the third incoming class to participate in the online course, and at this point most current students have completed the program. The problem is, alcohol incidents haven’t decreased, they’ve increased.

Obviously, the AlcoholEdu program doesn’t work. Anyway, isn’t alcohol education what Wellness I is for? Come to think of it, isn’t healthy dating a segment of Wellness I too?

If a program is worth the effort that’s put into organizing and presenting it, then it doesn’t need to be mandatory. If it’s worthwhile people will come.

Unfortunately, mandatory programs won’t be going away anytime soon. In fact, there’s another one schedule next week for all IFC fraternity members. All IFC chapters have to have 80 percent of their chapter in attendance or risk monetary fines.

So it looks like even if you aren’t a first-year, you can still get stuck going to mandatory events.

So if you’re at the IFC meeting next Monday, look towards the back of the room and join Ed Board in asking yourself, “When in the hell will this be over?!?!”

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