The Lawrence Indifference

Reid Stratton

You know how it goes: “Sure, Lawrence is a good school, but there’s never anything to do around here.” To be fair, sometimes this assessment is true, but there has to be a reason for this dearth of activity. I would like to propose that the reason there never seems to be anything to do on campus is because that whenever something does happen, no one ever friggin’ shows up.Exhibit A: The Battle of the Bands last weekend, a unique, fun, and accessible event, right here on our very own campus. The attendance, however, was embarrassingly low. Seven bands performed over the course of four hours, with about 30 Lawrence students looking on.

Of course, as you read this newsprint reproach, you are already beginning to form your defense. You had things to do, people to see, meetings, appointments, rehearsals and all other manner of commitments. And yet there is more to this epidemic of low attendance than simple time management failure. The problem, I fear, is that our oft-satirized “Lawrence Difference” has begun to refer to our indifference.

I can name time after time when I have been at a new, exciting, and unique event with absolutely pitiful attendance. Poetry readings, bands in the coffeehouse, you name it. Though it is easy to pin the problem on the rigorous schedules we keep, the real issue is that many Lawrentians won’t take the trouble to leave their rooms in order to experience something new. We want to watch the same movie again, read the same book, listen to the same music over and over. And why not? It’s easy to walk in circles.

But please, go out and do something you’ve never done before. Go to a Main Hall Forum on a topic you know nothing about, go see a band you’ve never heard of. If you don’t like what you find, you can always leave and try again next week. It’s totally painless. I promise.

Most importantly, utilize what our campus has to offer. If students actually start going to campus events, perhaps event organizers will take heart and begin to organize more events. Voil…! We’ve eliminated “nothing to do” from our collective vocabulary. Now we can get to work on eradicating “The Lawrence Difference,” too.