By Hayden Gotsch
There has been a lot of confusion and controversy regarding the new Passport Program that Florida Southern College has implemented. Firstly, this program only affects the class of 2020 and any new transfer students. Sophomores, juniors and seniors do not have to follow these new rules. The only mandatory event for the previously mentioned students is Convocation, as it has been in previous years. Freshman and transfer students must submit to the new program agenda.
In attempts to enhance their college experience, Florida Southern is requiring students to attend certain events to get the most out of their time at school. Ideally, students will attend at least 10-15 events each year. To keep track of how many and what events students go to, attendees will be awarded credits when they swipe in. Each event is worth two credits in that category.
The system is broken up into five different sections; Fine arts, school pride, faith and diversity, learning beyond the classroom and service. Fine arts events include musical performances, plays or shows. School Pride credit can be earned at various sporting events. Faith and diversity events revolve around equality and religion. Learning beyond the classroom events are lectures on a wide variety of topics. Chances to help others will earn students credit for the service category.
Students must earn a total of at least 20 points in each category by the end of the four-year program for a total of 100 points. However, if students wish, a maximum 30 total credits can be acquired, with a max of six credits per category.
To track one’s progress, log in to MOCsync.com. Search for the passport program in the search bar. Upon reaching the general program page, check under the “More” tab and click on the “Involvement” option. This will bring up a list of all of the events a student has attended as well as the category of the event and the credit hours earned overall.
Over winter break an email was sent out to all students involved in the program showing each individual’s progress. Every Friday the school sends out another email showing all the events for the upcoming week that students can attend for credit.
While the FSC is creating a more holistic way of achieving a college experience than convocation could provide, this program has caused many complaints from students. People are frustrated about being forced to attend events. Although this program does press students to participate, the school has provided an eclectic selection of functions for all different interests. There is enough variety that all students should be able to find events that spark excitement and still be able to meet all requirements. Also, inviting friends to tag along always make events more fun or at the very least, more bearable. Senior Nursing Major and SGA President Chase Hoyt had this to say about the Passport Program, “I think it’s a good way to get freshman exposed but it’s too punitive of a system. I think it would greatly benefit from a rewards system of sorts.”