I can go on and on about all of the positive attributes of John Carroll and the students, faculty and staff who are a part of the University. However, I do have one major complaint that has bothered me all three years of my time at Carroll. There seems to be a small group of students who are active and involved on campus, and you only see those same people across all campus activities. Other than those students, who seem to be at every event or promoting their organizations on their personal social media accounts, it appears that the majority of students do not care to be involved or attend events.
Although a bunch of very motivated and talented individuals come to mind when I think of this topic, I will stick to a generalization about which groups these students are often involved in. Many tour guides hold those positions but are also the faces of Campus Ministry. Representatives who serve on Student Government are heavily involved in a wide variety of activities, such as working in the library, hosting events for Black Students in Action or writing for The Carroll News. Resident Assistants are often involved in a wide array of campus organizations. These students are known and prominent on campus because they accept leadership positions in many groups and work to make those organizations thrive.
It makes me so happy to see these students in their positions improving their organizations while exploring their passions. However, I do wish more students had the same drive and excitement that these few, hyper-involved students achieve. In conversations among my friends, we have come to the consensus that beyond that handful of extremely active students, most of the student body is apathetic.
From personal experience, I can attest to this. Last semester I was in charge of Streak the Vote, which was dedicated to registering students to vote. After a significant amount of planning and work, my co-worker and I hosted several events to inform students of information about voting, how to register, candidates on the ballot and much more. Our most-attended event was one where several professors offered extra credit, and even then maybe 25 people showed up. It was not a matter of marketing, because one of our events was a dunk tank on the main quad. Still, only a handful of people stopped to register to vote and dunk a professor. Another event that we hosted offered chicken tenders to entice hungry college students, but again the turnout was sparse.
Outside of this, I know plenty of events across campus that have very low attendance. For example, the communication department hosted an event on learning how to code and less than 10 people came. The department has hundreds of students. Less than 10 came.
I understand college students are busy. I’ve balanced being editor-in-chief, doing a fellowship for Streak the Vote and doing an internship with Cleveland.com while also being a full-time student.
I know it is not possible to make every single event, but even stopping by and showing your support for a classmate who has worked incredibly hard to plan and execute an event for an organization they care about is worth the time. People put time and work into planning and creating amazing events (that students pay for with their student activity fees), so you might as well attend and benefit from what the events have to offer.