School of journalism experiences problems with equipment checkout

Journalism majors at the University have encountered problems this term with checking out equipment from the School of Journalism and Communication.

With the addition of the Gateway to Media series to the journalism school, journalism majors are required to develop skills in video production and frequently use equipment like video cameras and audio recorders.

Instructors for one of the Gateway classes this term extended the due date for a final project because of issues with the checkout system.

University junior Andrew Richards, who is enrolled in Gateway 205 and 206, felt stressed to check out equipment when assignments were due.

“It’s worrisome because if you don’t have funds to purchase the equipment, it’s a game of chance. It’s really discouraging for a lot of students,” Richards said. “It really makes you think ahead and some people are really good at doing that, others are not.”

Matt Schmidt, production manager at the School of Journalism and Communication, said that with the increased demand for Gateway equipment, more students have turned equipment in past assigned due dates, often in poor condition.

“Over the last year and a half, the demand from Gateway has really driven the problems,” Schmidt said. The school has had to replace a third of its equipment for the Gateway series since the original classes.

“Personal responsibility is kind of the punch line as far as I’m concerned,” Schmidt said. “Timeliness and preparedness are part of the education at the J- School.”@@cop-out 101, right [email protected]@

University student and School of Journalism check-out room employee Emma Salo deals with journalism students on a daily basis.

“The first thing is that students like to procrastinate. They tend to think that their project is more important than everyone else’s project,” Salo said. “Using this equipment is a privilege.”@@stuck-up snob, right [email protected]@

The checkout room acknowledges issues with the new computer system implemented in the last year, which has caused a few unforeseen problems.

“I don’t blame any part of students’ frustration,” Schmidt said. “It is absolutely a responsibility of the J-school to find a solution to this problem. It takes time to make change.”

Currently, the consequences for turning in late equipment results in restrictions to equipment access. Schmidt said the equipment check-out program plans to change to its system in the future to encourage students to turn in equipment on time, such as charging a late fee.

“The equipment belongs to all of the students, not just one student,” Schmidt said.

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Ryan Dutch

Ryan Dutch