Well, this is unfortunate. Liberty University has announced that they will no longer be releasing a convocation schedule for the whole semester. Instead, they have announced that they will be releasing a ten day schedule every week through their social media (Now I have to follow Liberty on Twitter). How am I supposed to plan out my convocation skips now?
Why is Liberty making this change after over a decade of providing a full schedule? Officially, Liberty University claims that this a security measure and says that this is necessary to keep speakers and the student body safe (LU’s announcement). However, I truly cannot see why this secrecy is necessary. Did having a complete convocation schedule in the past make the student body unsafe? Are the speakers we are getting this semester so well-known that they make convocation less safe? I find both of those possibilities quite unlikely.
Personally, I think there are several far more likely reasons. First, it is possible that Liberty is having a hard time finding willing speakers. Falwell’s endorsement of Trump brought a lot of negative attention and press to Liberty, which can only have had a negative effect on the willingness of people to speak. If you doubt this, look at the quality of speaker that we had in spring 2017. A second possible reason is that Liberty has invited a controversial speaker that would result in an uproar from either the student body or the general public. Having seen some of the protests at other universities over unwanted speakers, Liberty may be trying to to avoid showing any signs of disunity or non-homogeneity among the student body.
Regardless of the true reason, the loss of a full convo schedule is a loss for the entire student body. Without a complete schedule, students cannot plan the use of their skips or provide their opinion to the university regarding unwanted speakers.
Due to a lack of a semester-long convo schedule, my previous plans for a convo schedule are untenable. Instead, I will adding to the schedule in a piecemeal manner as more speakers are announced.
Update: You can find my convocation schedule here:Convocation Schedule
Probably unnecessary legal disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Liberty University or its related offices in any official or unofficial capacity. I am simply a student attending Liberty.