This semester will be the first semester that convocation and chapel will only be offered on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Each week will alternate between convocation and chapel.
The shift from the old schedule was motivated by student feedback in response to a survey from November 2013, put out by the convocation review taskforce.
The taskforce, appointed by the President’s Council, was asked to prepare the survey and submit recommendations for re-structuring.
The taskforce consisted of David Lind, professor of sociology; Beverley Lapp, professor of music and core curriculum director; Rebecca Horst, interim registrar; Bob Yoder, campus pastor; and DaVonne Kramer, diverse student programs coordinator.
One of the strongest suggestions was that evening events should be eligible for convocation credit.
Fourteen convocation and chapel services have been scheduled and an additional seven to ten, mostly night, activities will be provided for convocation credit throughout the semester.
Wednesday was chosen because of the midweek placement it gave to the meetings and it will work as a follow-up presentation to Tuesday evening lectures. Monday and Friday mornings, without convocation and chapel filling the 10 a.m. slot, offer other options.
Lapp said, “Mondays at 10 a.m. will generally be used for internal gatherings. Fridays at 10 a.m. will be used for events that all in the campus community… are welcome to attend.”
Lapp spoke about how students and staff felt about the institution of convocation and chapel.
“There was a clear majority affirmation for the value of convocation/chapel in creating community and in enhancing the educational experience,” she said.
Information of the change was sent out in a memo to students on August 26, along with information about evening options for convocation.
Lapp spoke to how the core values and core curriculum structure convocation and chapel, and how she took on the role as convocation coordinator.
“Anita Stalter moved convo coordination to the role of Core Curriculum Director. This places convocation even more clearly into the realm of the Core Curriculum here at Goshen College,” Lapp said.
“Convo/Chapel has long been viewed as part of general education at Goshen College,” said Lapp. “Passionate learning is at the heart of the intention behind a common gathering in which we learn from each other and guests.”