Torrey Conference restructured

Although Torrey will spread over four days, the majority of credits will be offered on one day.



Jana Eller, Writer

In order to steward university resources well, Student Development made the decision to focus Torrey Conference on one day and host it on Metzger lawn.

Back to the Lawn

On Sept. 14, Torrey Conference directors announced in chapel that the conference will spread over four days, Oct. 18-21, with the theme releasing on Monday Oct. 17. Students will gather on the lawn for the second year in a row for the main sessions. These changes are due to university-wide budget cuts.

“Budgets were cut university-wide. And so when each department has to figure out where they want things to be allocated,” said Tessa Robertson, Talbot graduate student and Torrey Conference co-director. “We were up to the challenge of offering the same content and the same experience in one day… I think, honestly, we’re providing everything in one day that we would have had in three, we’re just packing it all in.”

New Credit Opportunities

The conference will include an additional session the night of Tuesday, Oct. 18. Seven conference credit opportunities will be offered on Wednesday, Oct. 19, with prayer and reflection services on Thursday and Friday mornings, each offering one credit.

In an effort to balance the number of people per session on Wednesday, three breakout sessions, instead of two as in previous years, are planned in additional locations across campus. This way, each student has the opportunity to get the unchanged requirement of five credits in a single day. This is the appropriate amount of credits for students to get the full experience of the conference, according to Robertson.

Rest and Reflection

“It is really more about achieving the educational outcomes again to try to get as many people to the core sessions and then to try to create spaces for prayer and reflection on the following days. That’s the big win. And that may be the structure of the future, we’ll see,” Pickett said.

Even though the majority of the conference will be held on Wednesday, classes will remain canceled on Thursday and Friday only, with one session each day focused on prayer and reflection. Jennifer Hahn, junior elementary education major and co-director, wants students to take advantage of these days in the middle of the semester to rest, while also reflecting on the conference in a communal setting.

“We would really love for this to be a chance for students to actually get the rest and the break they want and need during that time of the year,” Hahn said. “Lots of students always talk about how a break is so needed, and so we really want to provide that for the students.”

Despite sudden weather changes last year, the directors also plan to keep the main sessions on the lawn. The Student Development team expects better weather this year, because of the lack of El Niño.

The new lawn tradition also helps keep costs down, while encouraging students to participate in the conference together during a designated time of rest.

“We really liked the idea of the communal gathering, so one place where everyone could come together,” Robertson said. “And then logistically, it’s also a lot simpler than having satellite locations. So, yeah, I think that we wanted to start a new Torrey tradition and kind of keep it consistent.”

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