Our View: Univercity is not vacation

AT ISSUE: UniverCity is a rare, unique privilege for students, not a week of cancelled classes

It is a privilege that UniverCity is happening at Ball State.

The week-long event, which only happens every other year, has a lineup of writers, journalists and activists - people who embody scholarly and community


Students can hear from Danny Glover, star of stage and screen; Sally Ride, the first woman in space; Billy Collins, the current United States poet laureate; and Cornel West, the controversial African-American scholar and author of "Race Matters."

Some classes are even being cancelled so that students can go. Optimistic professors are encouraging their students to attend one or more of the many free UniverCity events. That's right. All of the events are free.

Trouble is, many students still aren't convinced.

The pessimist in us thinks that many students will just take a week off instead.

Does it cross your mind to go and listen to Jeffrey Wigand, the former tobacco company executive (whose struggle against Big Tobacco is depicted in Michael Mann's "The Insider"), speak about his crusade against the tobacco industry?

"Everyone is so closed off and focused on their own areas of study, this is an opportunity to take those blinders off and become enlightened," said Beth Turcotte, co-director of UniverCity.

Simply put, students would be foolish not to attend.

So, pick up a program at the UniverCity site and see what interests you. By not attending, you're only cheating yourself out of a huge privilege.


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