As part of the University's continuing 250th anniversary Future Forum series, a five-speaker panel addressed the extracurricular college experience to a five-person audience at the Annenberg School yesterday afternoon. During the 90-minute discussion, panelists discussed the growing need for more extracurricular activities saying that the University must continue to provide a structure for new programs. Panelist Gillian Johnson said that extracurricular activities "create energy." The College senior added that the University must encourage enthusiasm among its undergraduates through its extracurricular activities and maintain a variety of activities. Answering criticisms about how activities may divert a student's attention from academics, Johnson, who works on the Social Planning and Events Committee, said "No one can tell me that all those things got in the way of my academics." Another panelist, graduate student Eric Borguet, echoed the need for extracurricular activities, adding that there must be a greater emphasis made at the graduate level. "People's extracurricular needs do not disappear once they go to grad school," he said. "They are just put on the back burner. I hope these people will come out and show their concern about things other than their studies." Citing the low number of activities at the graduate level, he said he hopes that the University will lead graduate schools to develop "people as people rather than super-specialized technicians in some field." While the students on the panel told of a need for more extracurricular activities, Assistant Education Professor John Puckett urged that more academically-based public service programs be developed. He attributed it to "enlightened self-interest if not moral responsibility" on the part of the University. Puckett said students are "woefully lacking" in a sense of moral commitment and community. He said there are many advantages and reciprocal benefits of community-based public help including what he called "learning by serving." Dana Carver, the project coordinator of the 250th office, said she was disappointed with the turnout at the discussion. "The first two [forums] were better attended," Carver said. "What bothers me is that unless it's a party, the students don't come out. They are so willing to scream, but not to support."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.