It’s been going on for six years. Maybe you missed it because you were in bed watching Netflix or HBO Go, or even not awake to begin with. Or maybe you attended, but only because you would receive some extra credit points from your professor, or if you didn’t attend at least one session of some sort you would lose points from your final grade. Outside of compulsory or incentivized participation in this annual event, I’m sure many of us students just weren’t interested in spending the day deeply entrenched in academia of any and all sorts when you very well could’ve easily just gazed on the happenings with relative indifference and gone about your day of freedom from 8am’s and lectures without partaking in said happenings. And you can still do that if you wish, but I would advise against it. Not because I’ve been paid by the administration to say this (because I haven’t), and not because I am contractually obligated to (because I have signed no contract). I would advise against it because REDay — this day of extreme passion for learning and scholarship — is enthralling and fascinating, and even fun.
Yes, I said it: fun. But that’s why it exists; because it’s supposed to be day for students to take a departure from the conventionality of a standard classroom and branch out into new streams of academic learning and discovery. The Bryant website defines REDay as “a day-long symposium that showcases the scholarship, creativity, and innovation of the Bryant University community.” In other words, professors and students alike come together to create and put on display a whole array of different, unique, and interactive presentations, discussions, and activities from dozens of different disciplines all geared towards perpetuating the innovative and scholarly environment that Bryant is known for. To put it in Provost Glenn Sulmasy’s own words, “REDay is a celebration of the diversity of scholarship” and all of it happens over the course of one day.
Are you a Finance major, but have been dying to learn a little about Political Science? Then go to Prof. Holtzman’s roundtable discussion about the modern presidency and Donald Trump. Are you a Biology major, but have an inkling to figure out the in’s and out’s of Microeconomics? Search out some Honors students giving a presentation about an economic research project they’ve been working on for a few months. Sure, your bed is warm or the gym has weights that need to be picked up and put down in rapid succession, but there are some really amazing things that your peers and instructors have been whipping up exclusively for this one day so that you and hundreds of fellow students could go and be interested, encapsulated, and engaged alongside them.
Last year was my first year on this campus, and in no way was REDay even on my radar as an event that would become a part of my life. Then I was invited to participate in a discussion with Hedrick Smith, a world renowned journalist and the keynote speaker for last year’s REDay, regarding American politics and gerrymandering. So I went to the discussion and communicated with other students and professors, and it was probably one of the highlights of my freshman year.
While a day off from classes opens up a vast plethora of opportunities to alleviate yourself from the academic world for a brief moment in time, your presence will be sorely missed if you do not attend at least one presentation or participate in at least one discussion during REDay. Over a hundred members of the Bryant community are necessary in even making this day-long exaltation of creativity, knowledge-gaining, and innovation possible. Those are over a hundred people who could have just indifferently gazed, but instead decided to buckle down and throw themselves passionately into the colorful menagerie of academia that is REDay, so why not follow their lead? Why not support your community by engaging yourself in the most unconventionally spectacular display of interactive learning and fun on the Bryant campus? You won’t regret it.