Listen to a conversation between a student and the director of campus activities.
I’m here cause … well … there’s something I don’t understand.
I sent an announcement for an event, and this morning I checked the events section of the university’s web site and nothing. There’s no mention of it.
And when did you submit this request?
Last Wednesday. I followed the instructions very carefully …
I’m sure it was Wednesday, because I know announcements have to be submitted three business days ahead of the posting date.
And what’s it for?
Yes, a poetry reading.
Oh, okay, and when is it?
In three days. It’s an author from France we’ve been trying to get for a while, and now that he’s finally agreed to come, no one’ll be there.
Wow … this person’s really coming all the way from France?
Oh no, he’s teaching in New York City this year.
We were able to sell him on the idea by promising there’d be a nice-sized crowd.
I felt confident about that, because I know how enthusiastic our group is.
And your group …Do-Do you have a name?
[thinking]Um, well it’s kind of a loose group, you know, just a bunch of students in the French Department who are interested in French literature … there’s no formal structure or anything … I guess you could call us the “French Literature Reading Group.”
Okay, and it’s a recognized group … by the University, I mean?
[Concerned that the group will not be seen as legitimate]But the French Department is funding this … on the condition that we do all the legwork.
[checking computer]All right, hold on a second while I check ...
Well it looks like we did receive your announcement last Wednesday.
It looks like the editors must’ve decided not to include your event in this week’s listings.
Not include it? Why?
Well, we don’t post things automatically— we get so many requests that we couldn’t possibly post them all.
So events that are thought to be too specialized, without the potential for a really wide appeal …
[disbelief, mixed with slight annoyance]Wow,I’ve gotta say, that does surprise me. What am I gonna do now?
I mean he really is quite famous, I really do think there would be genuine interest beyond my group … It would be a shame if no one showed up because there wasn’t enough publicity.
Is there anyone else I can talk to?
I don’t think that’ll do you much good, since we’re already working on next week’s schedule.
But maybe you could ask the French Department to post the announcement on its Web site ...
And maybe you could approach some other departments as well. You know, relevant ones.
I knew we should’ve done a poster, but everybody was like “Oh, you can just post it online.”
In any event, thanks for your help. It’s something to consider.