In the past couple of years, Queens College has experienced a halt in the vibrancy of student life on campus. Workshops and events turned to virtual formats, putting an excruciating pause on student life. While the Spring semester has allowed student life at Queens College to return to some normalcy, some students have still experienced a delay in projects they helped cultivate. The installation of a multimedia studio in the Student Union has been put on hold indefinitely and those involved with its development are confused and frustrated.
In Fall of 2020, the Director for the Office of Student Development and Leadership, which oversees student life, Dwayne Jones, requested that prominent media faculty create a proposal meant to renovate the radio station into a new media studio for students. This proposal consisted of new software, microphones, and laptops for the students to use. The start of the renovations was supposed to happen during the Spring of 2021. Now, in Spring of 2023, imagine the surprise of the facility advisors and media students when they saw the room emptied, but more importantly, unrenovated.
Arianna Arce, a junior and Media Studies major and President of the QC Production Club, told The Knight News the situation is a mess. Arce said, “I learned from the head of the Broadcasting Club [that was recently chartered] that Dwayne [Jones] had told her he was not giving her the room for her club because he was giving it to me, which is untrue.” Arce just transferred to QC this past Fall semester, so she did not even know of the room’s existence. She was left confused when Mr. Jones claimed she had this room. She feels as though ‘he is giving everyone different information.’
She was not the only student left in the dark. Jacqueline Horowitz, fellow junior and Graphic Design major, faced a different, but equally exasperating dilemma as the President of the QC Broadcasting Club. “From my understanding, we were told that once we were rechartered we would have that room. But then we were told that it was getting renovated and we wouldn’t have a club room. We would not really have access to it unless through a sign up,” Horowitz said.
Both students share frustrations regarding the lack of attention to students in media-related departments. Arce said, “When we need to learn how to work with audio/listen back to it, connect microphones and adjust them, learn how to use tech supplies, receive help with Adobe softwares, there is no place on campus that allows us to do this.”
One of the faculty members involved is Amy Herzog, the Chair and Professor of Media Studies. Professor Herzog believes Queens College needs to pay better attention to its media students saying, “Media production facilities at Queens College are woefully outdated and poorly equipped. We desperately need funding to upgrade not only the Student Union studio space, but also our teaching facilities and production equipment.”
She elaborates on how this lack of attention has affected her job as an educator saying, “Our production faculty have to tape cardboard to the windows in King Hall when they screen films because we don’t even have working blinds. It is demoralizing to teach and learn under these conditions, and it puts us at a disadvantage when trying to prepare our graduates for jobs in the technology industry.”
Media students are left without a comfortable environment to further develop their skills and projects. Students like Horowitz are tired of suffering not just in their academic life, but as role models for their clubs, “I focus on the club, because I am the President, the leader. And I have a bunch of people that are hoping that everything will follow through, but then I’m losing focus on my studies because the school is unclear.”
A lack of a proper multimedia studio is also a cause for concern for students to get ahead of the job curve, Arce said. She emphasized the fact that if someone is struggling with writing, they could go to the Writing Center. However, Media students don’t have a standout place like this for them on campus that is convenient and available to them outside of appointments.
“As Media Studies students, a lot of what we learn is technical. It’s super frustrating to have to watch 500 YouTube videos, meanwhile we’re enrolled in a college that should have a room where we receive tutoring to help us with our media classes,” she said. “ I also feel that Media Studies and more specifically Journalism students in other colleges are far ahead of me and have gotten more practice than I have, because they have more on-campus resources available which can lead to them being more likely to get a job after graduation.”
With the suffering of media students more apparent than ever, people like Professor Herzog and Arce hope that the college takes their needs into consideration. After all, our community would not shine as bright without their contributions as the world moves deeper into the digital age.