Savanna Harris, Staff Writer
When the word “Lyceum” is mentioned around the Wingate University campus, one would immediately think of a program put into place to enrich students and to broaden their educational experience. It offers students the opportunity to attend for lectures, performances, etc. that they might otherwise not be able to attend.
Even though Lyceums are a graduation requirement, they are not viewed as a burden. In fact, the majority of students get excited when an interesting Lyceum is announced.
Until this year, students were required to attend 40 Lyceums in order to complete the conditions for graduation. At the start of the 2017 school year, however, the requirement was dropped to 24.
Incoming freshmen shared an overall feeling of reprieve in learning this new information, seeing that it made college seem a little less overwhelming. Upperclassmen on the other hand, met the change with a different reaction.
Since they came to Wingate under the 40 Lyceum requirement, it wasn’t clear if the change applied to them too. Dr. Christy Carter, Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Lyceum Committee, was able to offer some insight.
As it turns out, the change in the number of required Lyceums applies to EVERYONE, including upperclassman who were enrolled under the original requirement.
The main cause for the change was an overall accommodation issue. With the incoming freshmen class, along with the whole student body, increasing every year, there simply wasn’t enough large areas to seat and host the events in.
Another large factor, Dr. Carter said, was intentionality, and wanting the Lyceum experience to be meaningful and enjoyable rather than oppressive. Commuter and nontraditional students and their unique situations were taken into consideration, as well. “We want students to chose Lyceums they feel they’ll actually get something out of instead of just checking off boxes for a graduation requirement.”
The change was made under the impression that students will be able to get the same benefits from going to 24 Lyceums as they could from going to 40. And thankfully, the changes seem to be a success. “So far, all of the feedback I’ve gotten from students has been good. Some faculty didn’t want the change, but there were enough who did want it for it to happen.”
For now, however, this is the only major change that is being made to the program anytime soon. The categories will remain the same, as well as attendance policies. If any other changes are made soon, they will be mainly for refinement purposes. “I think the Lyceum program should be reevaluated regularly and adapted to current situations on campus,” Dr. Carter said, “so the program will be as beneficial as possible to all who are involved.”
Edited by: Brea Childs