Facebook event encourages all commuter students to attend Convocation during busiest time.
Liberty students are trying to get the Vines Center packed out by encouraging commuter students to attend Friday’s service during one of the busiest weeks of the year, College for a Weekend (CFAW).
The 9,547-seat campus stadium hosts Convocation and other major events and is easily filled without commuter students attending.
The event “Commuters actually go to Convo,” is being coordinated by LU juniors Noah Chafin and Abe Schumacher. They say they are using the event to make a statement about the fact that Convocation attendance is mandatory for commuter students.
“Abe and I were just talking about how commuters are technically required to go to Convo, but Vines couldn’t even hold us if we showed up,” Chafin said. “We’re hoping a lot of commuters showing up on a CFAW weekend highlights how unnecessary it is for us to attend.”
According to The Liberty Way, if commuters do not attend Convocation, they are faced with the same penalty as on-campus students, a $10 fine. The problem is, commuter students do not have anyone to report to, meaning they can skip Convocation without consequence.
The number of residential students, which includes those living both on and off campus, was recorded as more than 15,000 in 2017. The Vines Center holds just under 10,000, making full attendance impossible– even more so with CFAW bringing in around 1,500 according to Residence Life at Liberty.
The cavalier description of the event says “We really want to see if the system can handle all the residential, commuter, and CFAW guests showing up to Convo. Could be fun. Bring snacks!”
The page has a series of posts emphasizing Vines will not be able to hold all the students. Nobody can predict what will happen if they surpass capacity.
Chafin and Schumacher, also commuters, have not set an attendance goal for the event, but they hope enough students show up to prove their point to the LU Administration.
“We are hoping for a good turnout,” Schumacher said. “Commuters are very unpredictable when it comes to attendance at Liberty events. However, our strategy at the moment is to just get the word out and to get as many commuters as we can to attend. We are mostly utilizing social media to spread awareness and are planning to post flyers around highly populated commuter areas.”
There have been instances where popular convocation speakers, like Steph Curry, have packed out the stadium. The event was a standing room only and caused crowd management problems.
So far the two students have not heard anything from the higher-ups, and they hope it stays that way.
“I think this is going be something spectacular to witness if we are able to pull this off,” Schumacher said.