Arts

Culture & Arts at Longwood University

December 26, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life

So, is Longwood University very culturally involved?  The straight and honest answer to that is no.  But, the university does try.  Longwood often focuses its time and efforts on anything but diversity and the arts, but lately they have been putting more effort into it.  With the ever-longing pressure from students on campus to improve the cultural awareness and bring more campaigns, speakers, and art events, the university may one day hear the answer to that question be a firm yes.  Until then, here are some of the efforts you will see the university DOES DO in order to bring culture and art to the their campus.

International Student Day: International Student Day is a day where international students get to display their culture to the university.  It is really cool for students to be able to see the other cultures of the students that they walk buy everyday.  This day gets international students involved on Longwood’s campus, and gives them an opportunity to bring their culture to the United States.

Speaker Series: Speaker series are put on by the university often.  Whether it is a Lancer Productions event or another speaker brought by other clubs and organizations, these speakers offer inspirational and different outlooks for students.  They often tackle topics such as culture and diversity, something much needed at Longwood.

Open mic night:  Open mic nights happen on Main Street every Thursday night at Uptown Cafe.  This cool coffee and sandwich shop is packed for open mic night, as people all around Farmville, Virginia come to enjoy free diverse genres of live performed music.  Not only does it bring the arts to the town and the university, but it is also a great time!

Student Plays/Musicals: Student plays through the Theater Department bring the art of the theater to Longwood.  They host several plays and musicals a year, that are mostly ran by students.  They are consistently impressive and are typically sold out again and again.  These plays/musicals tackle cultural problems, express emotion, and give the university a traditional, yet unique way to view the arts.

NPHC Fraternities and Sororities: This group of people brings diversity and cultural awareness to the university and its student population constantly.  They host cultural-focused events such as speakers and gatherings.  They also are some of the university’s biggest advocates for diversity.

Campaigns: Recently different clubs and organizations have been releasing campaigns that target the diversity and culture problem that Longwood has needed to address for a long time.  One that stood out to the campus, was the “Is your costume offensive?” campaign.  This was launched by the Diversity Committee of the Student Government Association, and brought awareness to students about how to make their Halloween costumes non-offensive.

The RotundaThe Rotunda is the newspaper on Longwood’s campus.  It has an Arts & Entertainment section for students, faculty, staff, and locals to read and be informed about local, national, and international arts and entertainment news.  Along with the newspaper, other clubs and organtiization do different things to bring students awareness of cultural events and issues.

Culture is important

Culture is important

UMaine culture events

November 21, 2014 in Campus Life, Events

At the University of Maine there are many cultural events that are planned on campus at the Collins Center for the Arts. It is the main auditorium for the University and holds concerts, comedians, plays and hosts an art gallery.

One of the great things about the University is that it brings in many artists from around the area of Orono as well as around the world. It is a great way for people to experience different cultures. For students to attend most of these events it is free to enter by showing their student ID card. For events that are not free, students are allowed two free tickets per semester to use towards any event.

During this year the University is hosting many holiday events to bring in people from the community, this year they are having the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas on December 9 at 7:00 p.m. This is a holiday concert event is produced by Chris Davis, a Grammy award winner, is a mixture of holiday music and multimedia effects. Later on December 20 and 21 the university will be hosting a special presentation of the Nutcracker. It can’t be considered the holiday season without having a presentation of the Nutcracker.

Another event that is taking place this holiday season if you have a young family is an Art factory family fun day. It is free for families to attend and all art supplies are supplied as well. What better way to kick off the holiday season as a family than attending an art factory fun day.

UMaine does a great job at hosting multiple events that will appeal to all audiences not only just adults. It is a great way for the entire community to feel involved. Many other cultural art venues forget to add family events to their schedule. It is one way to build a strong relationship that will last.

UMaine really does a great job a promoting these events to people who are in the community and from far away. The marketing department sends out reminders and promotions for their events to ensure that they receive proper turnout. Social media has also become really helpful to reach out to even more people that aren’t in their e-mail list.

Not only do they focus on the arts, but on other cultures as well. UMaine hosts an annual multi-cultural event once a year. With many international students attending UMaine it is a great idea for them to express their own culture to their new surroundings and friends. Not only does it give students a chance to express their own culture, but it gives other students a chance to learn about other cultures.

Being in the state of Maine, it is very hard for many to experience different things. UMaine does a great job to help students experience different events and cultures that they wouldn’t exactly have the opportunity to do. Because of the size of the school it is able to attract artists, musicians and events because of the size of the school.

“Core” Courses are Off Course

September 30, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Career, Colleges, Reviews

Boston College Core Curriculum

Boston College Core Curriculum

Colleges and universities around the nation and in other parts of the world all structure their classes and academics differently. Boston College requires each student to take classes from a “core curriculum,” which includes two semesters of science, two semesters of philosophy and theology, language, one arts class (music, theater, painting), an English literature class, social science, history, and math. As you can tell, this core is quite extensive; it touches upon virtually every discipline, however briefly. I think that for people who have not been exposed to certain disciplines, or want to learn more about a particular one, this is a very beneficial set up. Those who have not declared a major can get a little taste of each subject and decide what intrigues or fascinates them most.

On the other hand, however, it is quite tedious and can even get in the way of classes taken for one’s major. For example, I wanted to take a particular science class to fulfill my second credit, but it coincided with a class that I needed for my major, so I couldn’t take it.

The bigger issue for me, however, is that the distribution of these core credits is incredibly swayed and focuses more on certain disciplines than others. Coming from a musical background, I advocate strongly not only for all of the arts, but also for music in particular. Music is pushed aside starting from grade school. What was cut first from school curricula when the economy plummeted? The arts. The arts are continually pushed to the side because they are not as valued as science, math, history or english. We study all four of these subjects (and various denominations within them, such as physics or American history, algebra or Russian literature) from the first grade until 12th grade. So why must we take a class about the same thing we have learned for at least ten years?

Don’t get me wrong – science and history are vital subjects, but two semesters of each is overkill, as is two semesters of philosophy and theology. Those are two years of core right there, on top of what you have to fulfill for your major. Instead of taking yet another class about American history or chemistry, we should be advocating more for the arts. People shove arts to the side because they are not moneymaking disciplines. Most artists, musicians, or theatre actors (I’m not talking Hollywood) make very little money, and often have to teach or have another side job in order to support themselves. Business and technology are always relevant and necessary, but they are not more important than the arts. Business, economics, tech are all fields that are relevant right now  but they won’t be important 50 to 100 years from now. Think about it: how many businessmen are spoken about in the course of history, versus how many writers, composers, artists, etc. are crucial, influential components of our world’s past?

Because society shoves the arts to the side and deems them less important than other subjects, people don’t go into these fields. Rather, people may have an interest in music, but realize that they won’t be able to support themselves by simply playing an instrument or painting, so they pursue other careers. This, in turn, causes the four core subjects to dominate and overshadow the arts even more.

It’s not good to ignore any discipline, but the arts are a vital component to our culture and society: maybe it’s time to make the arts a more dominant part of our education, rather than the other way around.

Arts are pushed aside

Arts are pushed aside

Welcome to College: Here’s Your (Mini) Bucket List

September 7, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Events, Sports, Top 10 Lists, Travel

  1. Join a club

Joining a club not only allows you to meet people, but it also teaches you to work with others and to try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone and participating in something that you may not be good at, or have much knowledge about can be difficult, but it’s worth it. You’ll learn so much about yourself, and you may even make some close friends there. Even trying something new and then quitting is better than not trying at all – most of the time, you’ll learn to love what you got yourself into.

2.    Go to a play or concert

Even if your school doesn’t have a good theatre/arts program, it’s still worth seeing your classmates perform. It takes a lot of practice and bravery to stand up in front of a crowd and perform, and those people deserve an attentive audience (that’s where you come in). If your school doesn’t have an arts program at all, find one in the city or town nearest you! If you’re as lucky as I am and have a thriving city like Boston nearby, take advantage of it. There are always tons of events going on in cities – find something you like, or want to try, and check it out!

Go to a theatre production

Go to a theatre production

3.    Attend an athletic event

Whether your school is successful or not at certain sports, it’s still nice to go support your fellow students, just as it is in artistic performances. Athletes train long and hard to perform at their best, and they play even better when they have a whole stadium full of supporters goading them on. Plus, it’s a fun way to meet other people – and you get to make up weird cheers!

Cheer on classmates at an athletic event

Cheer on classmates at an athletic event

4.    Party (at least once)… for most, that won’t be a problem at all

Most people go to a party and fall in love with the lifestyle. To them, it’s a great way to let off steam, unwind from a tough week, forget about classes, and make memories (if you actually remember anything from those Saturday nights….) with friends. However, some people don’t like that lifestyle at all – they’d rather do something at home, or go to dinner, or see a movie. No matter which type of night you prefer, try both. That way, you’ll appreciate being able to cuddle up and watch a movie in bed, but you’ll also get to experience the typical college experience of going out and drinking.

College Experience 101: Party

College Experience 101: Party

5.    Take a class unrelated to your major/a subject you’re interested in

We spend so much time learning what we “have” to know, so it’s good to change it up and take a class that isn’t part of your major but that you’re curious about. You learn better/more when you are actually passionate about learning something, rather than dreading it. Plus, taking a class outside your major can be a refreshing break – when you’re sick of doing bio homework, you can turn to the art project you need to complete, or write a short story.

6.    Live on campus

Though most people will live on campus for all four years of college, it’s still worth putting on this list. Being on campus allows you to experience the freedom you didn’t have at home. You get to control when you go to sleep, when/what you eat, what you do in free time.

Dorm Life

Dorm Life

7.    Live off campus (if you can)

Living off campus is also a useful experience. You may not have a meal plan and you will have a longer commute to campus. You’ll not only have to learn how to cook for yourself (or spend all your money eating out, which I don’t recommend), and you’ll really learn to plan ahead so that you get places on time. Living off campus will definitely make you a more responsible and productive person.

Live in a "real" apartment

Live in a “real” apartment

8.    Study abroad

Studying abroad, or any sort of international travel is an incredibly valuable experience. Going to a different country opens your eyes to new cultures, languages, people, and ideas; traveling teaches you equally important lessons about life and interacting with others.

Travel

Travel

9.    Find something you love doing

This goes back to the idea of taking a class that you’re interested in, but may not fall into your major. If you find a subject or discipline that you are drawn to and passionate about, don’t ignore that feeling. Even if you’ve wanted to be a doctor your entire life, or your parents push you to becoming a lawyer – follow your own head and heart (sorry, didn’t mean to be cheesy). College is the time to discover what you really love doing and what you’re good at. If you find something that doesn’t fit in to what you were doing before, don’t ignore it – take a long hard look at whatever it is, and ask yourself if this were something you’d like to pursue more seriously.

10. Internship

Internships are a great way to get experience in the field you’re looking to go into, and it also gives you a chance to see if it’s actually something you could do for life. The things we’re interested in can look nice and fine from the outside, but sometimes it’s a different story when you’re actually doing it. Internships also look great on the resume and allow you to build contacts when looking for future employers or opportunities.

Culture and Arts at Assumption (Sort Of)

December 2, 2013 in Academics, Campus Life, Events

Culture

Culture

Assumption isn’t exactly the most cultured school in Worcester, MA.If you’re looking for culture, I think Clark might be a better place to look. The population of non-white students or LGBT student on campus isn’t something to write home about. No one is knocking down the doors to our language classes. One art class is required, but there are 2 art professors for every level of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Don’t come to Assumption hoping for acceptance for other religions, either. Allowed to eat meat on Fridays during Lent? Well, that’s not available on campus, so you either have to eat seafood or order from off-campus

The Cross-Cultural Center does do what it can. We have a yearly Latino festival and Multi-Cultural Day and a few other events. Sometimes ALANA, our multi-cultural club, collaborates with AC Allies, our gay-straight alliance, and ADAPT, our club for people with disabilities, and do something. When I was a freshman, they had a panel I was a part of to talk about bullying. There are some cultural events, and ALANA really does try to put together some nice things, but on the whole, I would give Assumption’s effort a D. If it weren’t for ALANA, I doubt the school would do much of anything to celebrate the diversity of the student population.

There isn’t a lot of involvement for the history or culture of ethnic, sexual, or religious minorities in the curriculum. As a Lit major, I am required to take two courses on British Literature, but taking African American lit is pretty much optional. There isn’t a Psychology requirement that deals with people of color, the LGBT community, or some other religion– at least not for the minor. The Women’s Studies minor only has one required class, and while we did read Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison, it was at least 50% white women that we dealt with, and many of them were straight or did not talk about their religious backgrounds.

Assumption does have a foreign language major, but not many people here bother with something like that; I’ve only mt one person thinking of majoring in it. A lot of people minor in Spanish, French, or Italian, especially if they’re in education. The school also has a classics major, but that is a very small program, too. The languages are very underutilized at Assumption, leaving some professors scratching their heads. If you want a diverse program with a lot of people or mentors, majoring in a language at Assumption might not be the best idea.

The arts are a little more involved.We have a few productions a semester

Arts

Arts

thanks to Merely Players, the acting club. There’s a lot of cabaret shows, so they keep it interesting. This weekend, they’re putting on a bunch of different scenes from Shakespeare. We have some very good actors and singers here, but the club is still pretty small.

There are always student works hanging up in IT, where there’s a lot of traffic as people run through or go to class or to the computer lab. It’s nice to see your work behind glass! The library also often offers a look into some art. There is always something up on the wall. Sometimes it’s students’ work, but I think a lot of it is from off-campus. Sometimes you can buy the pieces you see, and they’re usually extremely good. Whether it’s drawings or photography, the library is rarely without new art.

Writing is pretty big at Assumption. There are many writing workshops, from poetry to journalism. You can major in writing, which would be either creative or more pragmatic. If you take a class, you may need to read to your class and other audience members in the library, so be prepared to read your work out loud if you want to take a writing workshop.