Written by: Cassidy Connolly and Amanda Blake
As of Wednesday, November 3, Southern is planning to hold at least 11 more events that offer cultural credit.
Upcoming events include convocation on November 4, hosted by Student Association; senior recitals on November 7, 10 and 14 in Ackerman Auditorium and Southern Symphony Orchestra’s concert on November 7 in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists. Information on upcoming cultural credit events can be found at Southern’s music events and convocation schedules.
For students who live on campus, freshmen need to obtain 15 cultural credits, sophomores 14, juniors 13 and seniors 11, according to Southern’s enrichment credits webpage. Commuter students do not need to obtain as many credits as on-campus students. Freshman commuter students need 10 cultural credits, sophomores nine, and juniors and seniors eight. Residential and commuter graduating seniors only need to obtain five cultural credits.
Senior film production major Dominique Williams said she feels that the amount of cultural credits students need to obtain is unnecessary.
“We are here to learn. To get our degrees. We work. On top of that we have to go to events or earn credits?” Williams said. “I don’t think it’s fair. And I especially don’t think it’s fair that if we don’t meet our required number of credits we get punished for it. We’re adults. Southern says they don’t have enough student workers. Well, how am I supposed to attend these events if I’m working?”
Failure to meet the enrichment credit requirement may result in probation, a $5 fee for every credit missed or semester suspension depending on the number of credits missed and the number of offenses, according to the website.
Jacqui Whisset, sophomore social work major, said she thinks having cultural credits is a good thing.
“I think it promotes having healthy conversations and we are lucky [that] the campus offers it,” Whissett said. “Do I think it should be mandatory? No. But if it was left up to the students, the reality is no one would attend these meetings and get the fulfillment you get when it’s over.”
In response to student comments, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Student Development Teri Reutebuch provided the following statement, which she said is the response that Vice President for Student Development Dennis Negrón usually gives when someone questions why Southern has worships.
“The primary two reasons why Southern requires attendance at worship and convocations are that those events build community among our campus community and they remind the community of why Southern exists — to glorify Christ through words and actions,” Reutebuch wrote in an email to the Accent. “These meetings are consistent with Hebrews 10:25, in which Paul reminds his readers not to forget to come together in community.”
There are students who can get reductions in the number of credits needed. Some of the requirements are being a commuter student who has no classes on Thursday, attending nursing clinicals during the convocation hour, working as a nurse whose shift is scheduled during the convocation hour or Friday night or working an on-campus job that cannot close during convocation or Vespers, such as Food Services student personnel and a number of desk jobs that must remain open 24 hours a day. While students who meet those requirements can have their number of credits reduced, students who fall into any of the following categories are completely exempt from obtaining cultural credits: Married students, students with children, military veterans, students 23 or older prior to the start of the semester, students who have already earned 124 academic credit hours, students involved in student teaching or students who are completely online or Consortium students, according to the website.
Megan Yoshioka also contributed to this report.