ian vonthaden on wed 5 sep 01
i don't really know what to get out of writing this message, but maybe
someone out there has been in the same position as myself and can lend some
advice. I am a fourth year student at a university where, up untill last
semester, the studios were open twenty four hours a day. the decision was
made to close the studio's at midnight with several reasons being given 1)
budget cuts [but how much electricity is being saved by turning the lights
of for six hours] 2) students staying in the studios all night and sleeping
through classes [then fail them don't punish everyone] 3) drinking and drug
use in the studio [campus securitys problem, and there have been only three
known cases in five years, far less then the dorms] 4) stuff was being
stolen from the studio [but noone knows what and no reports were filed]. As
you can probally tell I am not so happy.
this decision was made without students having the chance for formal input
ie. a sit down meeting. this is a decision that affects the ceramics
students reactions to this have been varied. many have decided to move into
off campus studios. a nice option for those who can afford it. which is
being dubbed the great exodus. but all these students moving off campus has
affected the quality of our education, many of our piers (the people who we
learn the most from are no longer around)many students are not happy with
this decision but they have accepted it as fact and left the issue alone.
when i asked questions it was made very obvious that i was putting my
educational status in danger. we all know how subjective grades are in art.
i have done some back door politicing and found varied views on what to do.
some people say i should keep my mouth shut, they are not enforcing the
curfew at this point; some people think that if the issue is pushed then the
faculty will gaureentee the studio's close. basicly holding it over our
heads. some people think it would be great to do something but no one is
willing to put there heads on the chopping block.
i have been in contact with the student newspaper at the university and they
are considering a story. but, this creates a problem of rocking the boat
even more. if i push it they'll write the story but i have to question how
many enimies i am going to make by doing that.
another issue that must be thrown into the equation is that the ceramics
professor comes up for tenure this year. she is a good professor, not great
but good. but it is her that is pushing for the studios being closed.rocking
the boat might jepordize her chances for tenure, something i would not like
to see happen.
so, now that you have read all this what do you guys think? should the issue
be pressed, do the art students have the right to studio access when they
need it. should i just accept the new policy as fact and give up?
i should also point out that i am not a people person, so adviceing me to go
and talk to this or that person is not a very good option for me. i am not
good at confrontations, maybe this is something that people can also give
advice on: how do you get along with so many people in a studio when you
tend to have a rather harsh charecter. (i'm from new york if that helps to
understand my mentality).
any opinions welcome,
p.s. i would like this message to remain ananymous so those of you who
recognize my e-mail please refrain from letting my name be known.
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william schran on thu 6 sep 01
Perhaps you could volunteer to be the lab monitor for the extra late
hours and assume the responsibility for maintaining/securing the lab.
As a teacher in a college ceramics studio, I also have concerns about
equipment (that I can't afford to replace) and liability/safety
issues with the students in open lab situations.
Dannon Rhudy on thu 6 sep 01
... a fourth year student at a university where,
.... studios were open twenty four hours a day. the decision was
>made to close the studio's at midnight......
It is always more convenient to students to have studios
open 24/7. However, most universities do NOT do this.
There are a number of reasons for closing them, and it
has little to do with electricity costs. There are liability
issues, supervision issues, security issues, and others.
If you are accustomed
to having access at whim, then your annoyance is understandable.
But the school is under no OBLIGATION, no matter what it's done
in the past. As long as open hours are posted, they may do
what they choose. Part of the "budget cuts" may have to do
with ancillary costs such as security and insurance.
.... decision was made without students having
the chance for formal input.....
Alas, most administrative decisions are made in that
way. And even when students DO have input, it doesn't
often affect the outcome.
.....>when i asked questions it was made very obvious that i was putting my
>educational status in danger.....
You know, as long as you do your work and document it, grades are
not going to be much affected by your outspoken opinions. There
may feel like a threat to you, but it is unlikely. Further, what
could happen? Go from an "A" to a "B"? After you've graduated
no one, NO one, will care whether you got A's or B's. People look
at slides, when you're applying for things. They don't ask if you
got A's in deportment.
>professor comes up for tenure this year....
it is her that is pushing for the studios being closed.....
Have you asked her why? She may have good and sufficient reason.
If it seems to you that she does NOT have good reason, then you
could certainly push your view harder.
Given your other restrictions: that you don't like confrontation,
that you don't necessarily get on well with people, etc. - it
sounds rather as though you have cut off likely options. You
must sleep SOMEtime, so if you can't make them change the schedule
to suit you, and your work is really important to you, change YOUR
schedule to suit open hours at the studio. Meanwhile, if they
are not actually enforcing the new "rule" - well, take advantage
of that. Life's short - spend your time on what you CAN change.
Marianne Lombardo on thu 6 sep 01
I recently retired from teaching college (computers, not pottery).
Usually policy is set by various administrators, after having several
meetings to discuss it. If enough of you really believe your learning is
suffering because of the new policies, then you should make an attempt to
change things. But it will likely be a slow process and won't happen
overnight. It will take more than one of you to convince the administration
that changes need to be made.
My suggestion would be to start the same way they did. Get your fellow art
students together and have some discussions about how to handle the
situation. Draft up your presentation in writing, review it, make changes
until you feel you have a viable alternative. There is not much point in
just getting upset and demanding changes. When you tell someone that what
they are doing is wrong, you also have to have suggestions on how to correct
the situation. You may need to compromise a little. Elect a student to do
the actual presentation to the officials. Best to choose someone with
Learning to deal with people and handle confrontations is a part of your
education. When you get a job/career after your formal education is
finished, those are skills that are needed in order to comfortably survive
in the working world.
Good luck, and I hope some improvements will be made for you.
> so, now that you have read all this what do you guys think? should the
> be pressed, do the art students have the right to studio access when they
> need it. should i just accept the new policy as fact and give up?
> i should also point out that i am not a people person, so adviceing me to
> and talk to this or that person is not a very good option for me. i am not
> good at confrontations, maybe this is something that people can also give
> advice on: how do you get along with so many people in a studio when you
> tend to have a rather harsh charecter. (i'm from new york if that helps to
> understand my mentality).
> any opinions welcome,
> p.s. i would like this message to remain ananymous so those of you who
> recognize my e-mail please refrain from letting my name be known.
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
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