Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What are Convocations?

In a nutshell, Convocations are educational events where a prominent speaker presents about her/his area of expertise (Art, Politics, Science, Religion, etc.). Stephenson Memorial Concerts are special evening events that feature performers (musical, dance, etc.) who are well-known in the U.S. and abroad. There is also an option for co-curricular Convocations featuring dance, theater, and musical performances.

Receiving Convo Credit

What do I need to do to receive credit for a Convo? How do I know that I actually received credit?

Have your ID scanned after a Convo event to get credit. This is OPTIONAL: please fill out the Convo survey that will be emailed to your Berea account, typically the day after the event (Note: complete the survey on your laptop—sometimes errors occur when submitted on cell phones). Check your MyBerea to make sure your credit shows up.

I’m running late after class and won’t make it on time. What should I do?

The doors in Phelps Stokes will be locked at 3:00pm so that Convo can start on time (out of respect for the speaker and audience). Please attend a different Convo to get credit.

I need to leave Convo early (i.e. before the 4:15pm conclusion). May I leave the auditorium and still get credit?

We strongly discourage leaving Phelps Stokes before the end of the Convo but you may do so if you absolutely must. However, if you leave early, we won’t scan your ID and you will not be able to receive Convo credit (unless it is a medical appointment, in which case you need to let the student Convo manager know before the event begins).

Credit Issues/Errors

I checked MyBerea and noticed that I’m missing credit for a Convo. What should I do?

Email us ASAP at (or stop by during office hours) within 1 week after the Convo you attended. The Convo team will look into the issue and resolve any technical errors.

Convocation Etiquette

May I bring food and drink into the auditorium?

No food, please. As for drinks, you may only take a water bottle into Phelps Stokes.

May I use electronic devices during Convo? What about taking notes for a class?

Out of respect for the speaker and your fellow audience members, we don’t allow the use of electronic devices during the entire event (including Q&A). If you have a class assignment, please take notes with pen and paper (unless you have a documented disability).

Interacting with the Speaker(s)

I want to ask a question during the Q&A period of Convo. How does it work?

Think about your question before Q&A starts. Write it down. Once invited, step up to one of the 2 aisle microphones on the ground floor.  Present your question when the speaker asks you to do so (limit to 1 brief and succinct question per audience member).

Planning Ahead

How can I make sure that I have the required 7 Convos needed to pass?

Planning ahead is all-important. We strongly recommend that you choose the Convo events you want to attend at the beginning of each semester. Add them to your calendar (cell phone, email, paper) as you would for any other important appointment. If for any reason you have to miss a Convo, make sure to add another one on your calendar. Also, be sure to check Convo credit on MyBerea frequently (see A2 above).

Convo Policies

I’m going to study abroad on a semester-long program. Will I have to make up Convos?

No, you are not required to attend Convos during your semester abroad.

I’m a senior. Do I have to attend Convos during my last semester?

No, you are not required to attend Convos during your final semester before graduation but we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the offerings if your schedule allows.

I’m an Education major and will do student teaching in the fall (or spring) term. Do I have to attend Convos?

No, you are not required to attend Convos during the term when you’re student teaching.

I was only able to attend 6 Convos this semester. Can I make up for that by attending an additional Convo during the next term and have the failing grade removed?

No, there’s no make-up. You must attend at least 7 Convos to get credit for that term. We strongly recommend attending more than 7 events so that you have a buffer in case of unforeseen circumstances such as illness etc.

Students with Small Children

My small child has a hard time sitting through an event and might get antsy. Can I still attend?

Yes, we welcome students with children to attend Convocations.


May I sit on the stairs or in the aisles when there are no more seats available in the auditorium?

That’s not an option. This is an important safety issue; in case of an emergency we need to be able to evacuate Phelps Stokes as quickly as possible.


What if I have followed all of the procedures above but the required 7 Convos I attended still don’t show in MyBerea?

Please contact the Convo team at after the last Convo to make your case. If no resolution is possible at that level, please email Dr. Thomas Ahrens, Director of Convocations, who will advise you about next steps (such as a detailed written appeal to the Convocation Committee).

Other questions?

In case we have not answered your question(s) above, please email  Ms. Kabelo Makotoko, the student Convocation manager, at