Facilities irritate students

Students from the Division of Graphic Communications are unhappy with their current facilities and status with the school of journalism.

A group of graphic communications students met with James Hawkins, SJGC dean, Thursday to discuss the issues that plagued them.

The graphic communications department used to be housed on the basement and third floor of the Benjamin Banneker Technology Building Unit B.

By the end of October, the students had to relocate to the new School of Journalism and Graphic Communications building, which lacks some graphics equipment.

“We were uneasy about being kicked out of the old building and not knowing where we were going to go,” said Deneice McKenzie, president of Epsilon Pi Tau, an international honorary fraternity for students in the technology field. Although she did not go to the meeting on Thursday, McKenzie previously met with Hawkins about student concerns.

While there is equipment in parts of the graphic communications side of the building, some of it is old or lacks the software needed to complete assignments, said Jeanique Jackson, 22, president of the Graphic Arts Club.

“Since we moved into the new building, we couldn’t do our projects,” said Jackson, a senior graphic design student from New Orleans because “they’re still putting software on the computers.”

Some of the items Jackson said they need are a production lab, lighting and cutting tables, lab technicians, computer technicians and computer software. A number of those items are already in the building, but are old, Jackson said.

Although the computers in the new building are new, Jackson said the computers do not have the right software, such as Dreamweaver, to complete the projects that were started in the technology building.

One of the biggest gripes Jackson and others have about the new building is the access to the labs.

The computer labs must be locked by a certain time, Jackson said. And since the students’ class time is for mostly for lectures, many graphic arts students who do not have computers at home find it difficult to schedule time to go to the lab before it closes.

Along with not being able to get into the labs, numerous students are upset about the equipment inside the labs.

Jackson said that along with printers sometimes having no paper, there is only one scanner in each lab. She believes there should be a scanner for every one or two computers.

“We need scanners basically for all our designs,” Jackson said. “We need the printers to work so our stuff can print out properly. We still go to Target (Target Copy) and Kinko’s.”

Hawkins said he addressed the students during the meeting and told them that the third floor of the Banneker Building B needs to be renovated, but the photography section will still be able to use the basement floor until the end of the semester.

“The University needs to renovate that area for the other programs,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the main issue was the students’ access to the lab.

“The issues that the student raised more than anything was concerning access to the lab,” Hawkins said. “I encourage the students to look at their schedules and make school their first priority.”

Hawkins has a plan to improve lab conditions. He is trying to set up a lab where no classes will take place so students can work on their projects more before the lab closes.

Hawkins also said he ordered more equipment for the labs and it should be delivered in a few weeks.

McKenzie, 22, a senior graphic design student from Atlanta, said for now, she and other students are trying to operate as best as they can.

“We’re trying to make do with what we have,” McKenzie said. “We still have issues being taken care of.”

Contact Brandon D. Oliver at bdoliver11@yahoo.com