By Jessie Garrison
Associate Opinion Editor

If the purpose of Made in Millersville is to showcase students, why are classes not canceled? Made in Millersville is a conference to showcase the works of Millersville students. Made in Millersville also “embraces traditional field and laboratory work as well as projects in the visual and performing arts such as creative writing, music, drama, debate, public speaking, and other activities,” according to the Made in Millersville website.

I had to explain to 10 students in my dorm what Made in Millersville is. When asked if they were looking forward to the conference, they were unaware of the event. That is even with many Millersville professors offering extra credit to attending students.

Within my three years at Millersville, I will have presented in six presentations. The presentations vary from dramatic poetry to presenting written projects. The classroom cannot teach what students learn during Made in Millersville. During my first presentation, I learned about professionalism, public speaking, and the Lancaster community. I would argue that I learned more at the conference then what the classroom teaches. Most students are comfortable speaking with their peers and faculty, the conference teaches us how to speak to the general public.  For example, in a group, I had to defend the purpose of a community project. My group and I were better prepared on making our project sustainable. This year Made in Millersville is on April 16. Classes must cancel for all students to support their peers.

Speaking for the English department, professors encourage participation at Made in Millersville. Professors will even cancel class for their students to support each other. I do not think it is a coincidence since Dr. Kerrie Farkas is one of the faculty members in charge of the organization. Dr. Farkas says, “I definitely support canceling classes on the day of Made in Millersville.”  Professor support is due to our strong and supportive community. Additionally, professors understand the importance of professional experience. If you ask any English major one of their goals before they graduate is to get published. The Made in Millersville Journal allows us to further our careers.

This is not only about English majors. Science majors would also benefit from defending their research. Engineering students would benefit by showcasing their latest blueprints. Tech ed and robotics majors would be able to show their best projects. Education majors can show their lesson plans and get feedback from the public. The point is every single student on campus will benefit from attending and/or participating in Made in Millersville.

If classes cancel during Made in Millersville, students can support their peers. One of the main issues my peers and I face is having our friend join us in support. This year I told my friend I was doing another creative performance. Like last year, she responded with “I would love to go but I can’t miss class.” Why are we promoting a sense of community if we do not allow students to support their fellow students?