Who are these guest lecturers? What do they know?

By Staff Writer James Mellen III.

There has been an increasing trend of highly visible speakers like David Hogg coming to campus, and as the campus grows, it shows no sign of stopping.

In October Elizabeth Warren went to Umass Amherst; while she spends most of the year in Washington D.C, when she is in Massachusetts she has a history of doing visibility events like speaking to students. I actually got to meet Warren in the seventh grade, she has a great handshake.

The Congressional Representative of Massachusetts fourth congressional district Joseph Kennedy the Third has made national news for his liberal politics and last name. UMass Dartmouth happens to be in Massachusetts’ fourth congressional district, meaning of course that he represents anyone who registered to vote at UMass Dartmouth.

Due to the political party lines that the Baystate holds so dear, the conservative counterparts to the above mentioned politicians are a harder to identify. I do support them coming on campus, but there aren’t any Republican politicians that represent the part of the country and state we live in, and a senator from say, Arizona, isn’t going to be very likely to fly to UMass Dartmouth to give a speech.

Politicians come to my mind when thinking about speakers because they would (hopefully) increase the civic engagement of students on campus. They also give insight into a type of career that is non-conventional.

For the most part college prepares us to work a normal 9-5 job, so hearing from people who function on a different set of time is interesting and new.

This same concept could apply to multiple different non-conventional careers.
For instance, the university wouldn’t have to hire Kevin Hart to give a talk about being a comedian for students to be able to learn what pursuing a path in entertainment might look like, the plus side to a speaker like that is they would also be entertaining.

UMassD has had local and alumni musicians come to campus to put on shows before, and while these aren’t technically speakers, many people who have attended a good concert will tell you they grew from the experience.

That isn’t to say that a speaker should be non-conventional in order to give new insight to students. There are and will continue to be interesting speakers in the same fields as many of UMassD’s professors coming to campus to give lectures to interested students.

I’ve gone to three non-classroom lectures in my semester and a half at UMass Dartmouth.
I went to one on Shakespeare and advertising, one on Israeli defense strategy, and one the featured the son of the Vice President of Afghanistan (on Afghanistan).

I learned a lot from all three of these lectures, each one gave me an interesting perspective on something that I thought I knew a lot about.

As an English Major, I wouldn’t have gotten a lot of information on the other two lectures I attended in my regular classes.

These were also people who I never would have known the names of had I not attended their lectures. Those speakers were brought to UMass by professors here, which makes a lot of sense conceptually.

Our professors are experts in the field that they teach in, which means they know who in their field is going to be able to give a great speech.

That means as students, we should all be vigilant for speakers who are coming on campus, because it could be a good opportunity to spark an interest in something you wouldn’t think about otherwise, or to gain perspective on something you’re passionate about.



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