It’s that time of year again. It’s time for music, art, comedy and literature. It’s time for Humanities Festival at Calumet College of St. Joseph.
“The Humanities Week is a celebration of the humanities. It gives students and faculty the chance to come around and get engaged with the disciplines that make up humanities,” says Dr. Chris Buczinsky, Director of the Humanities and English Department at CCSJ.
This year marks the 6th annual Humanities Festival for Calumet College.
Over that time, the festival has grown to be among the biggest events for the school.
This year’s fest runs April 4th through April 8th.
Dr. Buczinsky, or Dr. B as his students call him, says Humanities Festival provides the perfect opportunity for students and faculty to engage with the school. That’s because each day of the festival features something fun, entertaining or educational such as speakers, comedians and music.
Some see the festival as a learning opportunity where students can discuss important topics and to get out of the daily routine.
“It was really good last year. That’s when the Mayor of Whiting (Joe Stahura) spoke. I was interested in learning from him about all the improvements that are going to be made to the area like the dorms at CCSJ and the construction on the lakefront,” student Alexa Hogueisson, an elementary education major, says. “Humanities week is also a great opportunity to learn more hands on. My professors promote it and usually offer extra credit. The events are usually fun and are a nice change to the normal schedule.”
The festival impacts students and their education because of the different learning and meaningful activities that are hold during this week. Some students think that Humanities Festival breaks out boundaries to controversial and relevant subjects.
“There will be a debate on animal rights during this year’s festival. The fact that we can debate on polemic subjects like animal rights is actually pretty good because not many people get to voice their opinion on such relevant things,” Andrea Ramirez, a biomedical major, says. “Also, having the opportunity to debate on it raises more awareness about what is going on with the subject.”
Of course, it takes a lot of planning and coordinating a week’s worth of events. The Humanities Department works very hard to make the festival an unforgettable experience.
“It takes a lot of coordination among faculty members to make these kind of events happen but we do our best to make something meaningful for students. Humanities can deepen the students’ understanding of their lives, their love life, their sports life, their family life, their religious life, and their political life,” Dr. Buczinsky, says. “The festival gets students actively thinking with one another and with their professors outside the classroom and it is also a great way to bring in the spring.”
Humanities Festival started in May 2011 when the Humanities Department decided to do something fun and an interesting. They created the festival so students could see how exciting and fun humanities can be.
The first festival included poetry readings, lectures, a debate, and a play. This year’s event has evolved to include a wider variety of activities like guest speakers, concerts, speeches, art shows, stand-up comedy, and a field trip to the Art Institute in Chicago.
Since the event is made for the students to enjoy, it takes students to make it work.
“To all the students at CCSJ, attend the sessions that look good to you and become engage! Get into the festival! It’s fun, exciting and intellectually stimulating,” Dr. Buczinsky says. “And it’s a way to expand your education.”
As for the future, Dr. Buczinsky hopes to invite the public and other nearby universities to participate.
“I think the biggest thing the festival could do is start to bring in the public. It is not marketed to other schools yet but we want to invite other more professors and students from other universities. Make it more of a conference,” says Dr. Buczinsky.
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