The platform to perform

PALS changes lineup for fall, spring semesters

Jen Rainey | Collegio Reporter

One of the many opportunities Pittsburg State University offers students is the Performing Arts and Lecture Series (PALS).

“I think it gives students the opportunity to experience performances in a more adult setting,” Eva Sager, PALS program coordinator, said. “They learn to be more conscientious of audience etiquette.”

The Performing Arts and Lecture Series dates to 1984 on campus and brings in performers, lectures and other programs. The group started this year off on Tuesday by bringing the Second City touring group from Chicago to Memorial Auditorium. Other events scheduled throughout the year include The Haunting Dinner Theater, a jazz festival and a lecture by Sister Helen Prejean. Sager says having a variety of programming available to students gives them opportunities to become engaged in things they may not otherwise experience.

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“Our theater and music departments do well with their shows and we’re lucky for that,” Sager said. “But students may not have had the opportunity to listen to some of the lecture series outside of PALS.”

The Performing Arts and Lecture Series is made up of students from the Student Activities Council, of which Sager is the adviser, and other ar

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eas of campus. Students from the music and communication departments are asked for ideas on what is popular and advancing in their fields. Students from the Presidential Emerging Leaders Program often participate to give advice from a more academic standpoint.

“We wanted to get some insight from outside of just the Student Activities Council,” Sager said. “We’d like to get input from other areas on campus because I feel SAC does a lot of programming.”

Sager began her position with the Performing Arts and Lecture Series last year. However, programming is done a year in advance, so this is the first year she is able to oversee events she planned. Over the course of a year, the group receives a lot of mail on various performers and public speakers. In addition, Sager yearly attends the National Association for Campus Activities conference. During the conference, she, along with PSU students, witness a variety of performances and lectures first hand. She uses these as tools to help her select whom she will bring to campus the following year.

“I also rely on expertise from other faculty on campus, as well as students letting me know what they want to see in the program,” said Sager.

A key difference between the Performing Arts and Lecture Series and most other groups on campus is that they are not geared only toward students, but also target the community.

“We hope that through these events we can help broaden students’ academic and cultural impressions,” said Sager.

She says the group is always open to new ideas and suggestions. It plans to start looking for next year’s programming in March. Anyone with ideas for programs can contact Sager at esager@pittstate.edu.

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