OPINION | Students may not be attending Tulane’s free events

Rachel Kelly, Views Editor

(Merrie Afseth)

Tulane University frequently hosts free events on campus for students, ranging from shows to physical activities. These events include concerts, comedy performances, movie nights, yoga and various giveaways. Despite the fact that these events should sound enticing to college-age students, and students should want to get their money’s worth from tuition fees, turnout may be underwhelming compared to the amount of funding and planning that goes into them. 

Are students not showing up because they are simply not interested in the type of events the school is putting on? Or, is it possible that the announcements slip between the cracks due to the multiple emails students receive daily? 

Perhaps students are finding entertainment elsewhere. Tulane isn’t considered a large school compared to the bigger public universities in the country, but students still join organizations to find smaller communities of people with similar interests. There are over 200 student organizations represented on Tulane’s campus, such as student government, pre-professional and multicultural organizations, media groups, performance groups, service organizations, sororities, fraternities and more. For example, just over 40% of Tulane students are involved in Greek life, which allows members to attend their organization’s events. Fraternities and sororities often plan meals, events with other organizations, date parties and group bonding activities. 

It is possible that some students may be more focused on attending the events of the smaller groups they belong to and do not seek out school-wide events as a result. Even further, some students may be nervous about participating in an event where they do not know the other attendees. 

One of the organizations, Tulane University Campus Programming is responsible for planning entertainment events on campus. According to the clubs and activities webpage, recent performers include big names such as Lil Dicky, T-Pain, Kehlani, Major Lazer, Thomas Rhett, Childish Gambino, Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Modest Mouse, Vampire Weekend and more. Recent guest speakers include Bill Nye the Science Guy, Jane Goodall, John Mulaney, Spike Lee, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Colin Powell and more. 

If not preoccupied with student organization events, students may just be unaware of the university-hosted events occurring in the first place. It is a common complaint that messages get lost between frequent emails from Canvas, Campus Health, Tulane Today and other important university correspondences. Although the constant influx of information can seem overwhelming at times, there is no obvious solution for how to communicate information to students without diluting their inboxes to the point where people do not read anything. 

However, Tulane has a calendar on the school’s web page listing upcoming events with important details accessible with a click. Also, the “5 Things TU Know” emails from the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life list the upcoming events held in the centrally located building. If students are ever looking for something to do, this information is at their disposal. 

College students’ busy schedules, plus email overloads, may be impacting event turnout. It is possible that the students and faculty at Tulane who plan these events should reevaluate which types have better attendance and which seem to be less enticing to efficiently allocate the university’s resources.

Leave a comment