April 25, 2016
To see creativity on campus, students know they can head to the next GOCA art exhibit or see a UCCS Theatre Company production.
And that’s the problem. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes.
People assume that the only creative majors are visual and performing arts. Not only is this incorrect, this generalization alienates the VAPA department from the rest of UCCS while simultaneously labeling other students as un-artistic.
Is the VAPA department artistic? Yes, it’s in the name. But that doesn’t mean other majors are not artistic.
You can’t be an engineer without a creative mind. You have to be able to look at a problem and solve it; problem solving is a creative function.
Creativity is in every major, as much as colleges would like to convince us otherwise through easy generalizations.
Because of these generalizations, students think they can’t be creative because they are not a VAPA major or minor, which is ridiculous.
All majors are creative.
Of course, this alienation goes both ways. VAPA majors feel that they cannot have academic discussions, because their major is supposedly not academic or applicable to other places in life.
Because both VAPA majors and non-VAPA majors feel alienated, this leads to an “us and them” phenomenon, which appears when you make a distinction between two groups, and this distinction creates a competitive or unfavorable mindset toward the other group.
Now we have these two groups: the VAPA majors and the non-VAPA majors, and neither wants to get involved with the other.
I, as a theater major, love to talk about all the cool stuff the theater department is doing. We have amazing performances, workshops and the Osborne Theater.
But ask me about what is going on at main campus, and I really can’t say. If it weren’t for working at The Scribe, I wouldn’t care, either.
I haven’t attended any events outside of the VAPA department, because I either don’t know about them, or I expect I won’t have fun, because no other VAPA students will be there.
On the flip side, I barely ever see non-VAPA majors attending the music concerts, GOCA shows or theatrical performances. They expect these events to be for the artsy VAPA majors, and after all, no other majors will be there.
This division between majors is not OK. Not only is it discouraging discussions between majors, but it creates judgment about people in differing majors.
The main function of a university is schooling, but it is also about connecting people and trying new things. How can students be expected to communicate with people in the real world if they can’t do it now?
I suggest you step out of your comfort zone. Non-VAPA majors, go to a theater or a dance show. The visual arts are a beautiful thing, and the creativity seen is astonishing.
VAPA majors, take some time out of your studio, and go to a main campus event. Go to a lecture, or attend an SGA meeting. Heck, take a class that has nothing to do with your major.
As VAPA majors, we search for creative opportunities, but we need to realize the VAPA department is not the only department that holds creative minds.
All departments have the potential to be creative, as do the people in them. Let’s start treating them as such.