The Student Advisory Committee meets during the semester to bring concerns and ideas to attention of the faculty and staff.
Present: Bryant Paul, faculty liaison; Stella Shaffer, elected representative; Nicole Carlton, elected representative; Carrie Latimer, Public Relations Student Society of America, IU Beth Wood Chapter; Alison Graham, Indiana Daily Student; Elizabeth Meuser, Arbutus; Omoihosen Alufohai, Inside Magazine; Toni Pringly, National Association of Black Journalists; D’Angelo King, WIUX
Attending members introduced themselves. Bryant Paul reviewed and discussed his interpretation of the provision in The Media School governance document calling for the creation of the Student Advisory Committee. He explained that the limited instructions in the document seem to suggest that role of the committee can range from monthly meetings where student members of the committee share their questions interests and concerns about The Media School to a more active one, which might include on outreach and the creation of events on issues they believe are important, and anything in between.
Members were then asked which, if any, issues or concerns they feel it would be appropriate for the committee to address. Responses and discussion points included what can be considered both micro- and macro-level issues. These include:
Vending machines: Particular support for this suggestion came from those members who work in student media organizations and are often in the building late at night. These students would like the opportunity to grab a snack or drink without leaving the building. Members said there is support for vending machines among many of their colleagues.
Response: Snack machines have been installed on the ground and second floors. Beverage machines will be installed Dec. 15 on the ground and second floors.
Feminine product disposal: Several female committee members noted that there are no trashcans for feminine products in the women’s room bathroom stalls. This has created an unsanitary condition where students are either leaving these products on the stall floors or disposing of them in the trash cans outside of the stalls. Members of the committee request that trash cans be placed in the stalls.
Response: This issue has been addressed. On-going concerns should be reported on Talk to Us.
Bike racks: Committee members noted that there are not enough bike racks outside of Franklin Hall. A number of members noted that they and the fellow students have had their bikes tagged for locking them to other structures outside of the building. They would very much like to see increased bike parking near the building if at all possible.
Response: Bike racks are located at the northeast, southeast and east sides of the building. If the racks at the northeast and southeast are filled, check the east side. Those racks are frequently empty. The Student Advisory Committee could approach the Office of Sustainability directly to request an additional bike rack in a more prominent place.
Finding faculty offices: Members reported continued confusion and difficulty among themselves and other Media School students in finding the offices of their professors and other rooms in Franklin Hall. This is appears to be a function of factors, including the nature of the Franklin Hall layout, what they feel is a lack of understandable/helpful signage, and the fact that many students are unaware that a number of faculty are still in the Radio-Television Building. A telecommunications legacy student on the committee had no idea that some Media School faculty are not housed in Franklin Hall.
Response: We have met with sign makers and the IU architect’s office. Plans are in the works to install signage and directories to make it easier to find faculty and classrooms in the building.
Heating and cooling: A plurality of committee members noted that certain classrooms, offices and common areas in Franklin Hall often are extremely cold or uncomfortably warm.
Response: Campus sets the heat for offices and classrooms at 68 degrees and the air conditioning at 72 degrees. If any room you are using appears to be too hot or too cold, please report it to a faculty or staff member who will ask for it to be adjusted.
Social media: Committee members mentioned they would like to receive alerts through various social media related to undergraduate issues and events. Several members noted that recent events at The Media School were not covered or highlighted across popular social media. They suggested increased social media presence and activity related to undergraduate issues would likely increase interest in and attendance for upcoming events.
Response: We tweet, use Facebook and Instagram, and we send weekly newsletters to all students. If you see a story or event that you want others to attend, please retweet using the school’s handle or share on the school’s Facebook page.
The digital signs (screens) in the building feature alerts about news, events and deadlines. To see your event on the screens or on the school’s social media account, use the Submit Your News form.
Website coverage: Committee members would like to see greater coverage of undergraduate issues and events on The Media School website. There was agreement that the current site seems focused primarily on the work and interests of faculty and graduate students to the exclusion of those of undergraduates.
Response: We employ 11 student staff members who report and write about events in our building and media topics of interest to students. Included are stories, photos and videos about students and student activities. In busy months, we post an average of 15 items per week. Click the News and Events tab to keep up with the news stream.
We are working on making stories more visible on the website. In the meantime, click around the website, watch our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, and read your weekly email newsletter, The Buzz. Contact us if you have news you want the team to consider covering or if you need to publicize your event in the newsletters or on the website.
Showcases: Members like the idea of the school sponsoring a series of formal student media showcases throughout each academic year. They were enthusiastic about creating a series of student media awards potentially associated with these showcases. Members suggested that the committee might play a role in the creation and management of these events and awards.
Response: Next semester, we will form a committee with some members of the SAC to plan Media Showcases for The Media School.
Diversity: Members showed unanimous support for increased attention to cultural, ethic and gender diversity at The Media School and across campus. This included calls for increased diversity in faculty hires (an issue Bryant Paul said the school is in the process of addressing), greater course offerings related to issues of diversity and media, and the introduction of guest speakers from diverse backgrounds in currently existing classes aimed at issues of diversity.
Response: As educators and administrators, we believe in the value and importance of a diverse faculty, staff and student body. We are actively engaged in recruiting a faculty that is reflective of media industries and the workforce at large. We are developing recruitment strategies for undergraduates and graduates that will help us bring a more diverse student body to our campus.
No effort is perfect, but we will continue to strive to be leaders on the campus and in the state in creating a dynamic, multicultural education environment.
Media literacy: Members indicated consensus support for classes related to increasing media literacy on the part of both Media School majors and non-majors. They supported classes such as those with multiple foci, including the value of the press, exposure to diversity of opinions in the contemporary (social) media environment, and media representations of race and gender.
Response: We couldn’t agree more. We’ll take this suggest to the General Education committee when appropriate.
Diversity courses: Members were interested in the possibility of The Media School combining with other College of Arts and Sciences programs in the implementation of additional diversity requirements as part of the general education courses required for graduation.
Response: The College of Arts and Sciences requires students to take a course related to diversity in the U.S. and a course related to Global Civilizations and Cultures. A campus general education requirement asks that students take World Languages and Cultures classes or study abroad. Media students are responsible for these requirements.