Audience Rights and Responsibilities

For nearly 100 years, Berea College Convocations have made lectures and the performing arts available without charge to Berea College and the public. Convocations provide common experiences for students, faculty, and staff, leading towards the establishment of a supportive and challenging academic community. These events are a form of communication and thus involve a responsibility both for the speaker or performer and for each member of the audience.

  • You have the right to expect that the speaker or artist will present his/her art or concepts clearly and meaningfully.
  • You have the responsibility to arrive on time, ready to listen and watch attentively and to engage your mind and senses to understand and appreciate the presentation.
  • You have the right to see and hear the presentation without distractions.
  • You have the responsibility to be silent unless invited to do otherwise by the speaker or performer, and to refrain from using cell phones and other forms of electronic communication during the presentation. Respect for the presenters includes an upright posture and forward gaze.
  • You have the right to expect that speakers or performers are experts in their fields, often internationally recognized for their work.
  • You have the responsibility to present yourself well, wearing “classroom” attire without caps or hoods for daytime events and “business” or “church” attire for evening events. Even if the presentation extends beyond the expected time, politeness requires that you remain quietly and respectfully until the conclusion.
  • You have the right to be challenged.
  • You have the responsibility to be curious and to stretch your thinking.