VCUarts students unhappy with facility conditions

Photo by Byron Koranteng
AFO, art education, communication arts and kinetic imaging courses are taught at Franklin Terrace, but some students are frustrated with the lack of work space, resources and mold. Photo by Byron Koranteng

VCUarts students across different departments have expressed frustrations with the state of their learning facilities’ sanitary conditions, including mold growth, and lack of adequate working space and resources for artists.

“A lot of the ‘tables’ we have to use in the classrooms at Franklin Terrace are just rolling carts with loose planks of wood on top of them,” said Sarah Butler, a communication arts major. “Many of the stools have broken or unstable legs, or are too short or tall to sit comfortably at the tables.”

Communication arts department chair Robert Meganck said the department is aware of the issues many students have expressed regarding the facilities.

“The physical plant has tried to address the problems we’ve had with mold,” Meganck said. “Regarding our program, we have not been able to address the limited amount of space, the need for another lab and the need for larger classrooms to accommodate the size of our program.”

Meganck said he brings all issues he is made aware of to the VCUarts dean’s office.

“We are constantly searching university resources to locate a more suitable space,” Meganck said.

Ajee Heartsfield, a senior music major, said the department has a problem with students sneaking in and using the facilities, therefore leaving a deficit of practice space for music students.

“As music majors, we are expected to put in hours of practice a day, yet it’s a struggle to even find a practice room,” Heartsfield said.

Music department chair Daryl Harper said that while no students have come to him recently, he does follow student comments from course evaluations each semester and is aware of concerns expressed through that forum.

Photo by: Byron Koranteng
Photo by Byron Koranteng

“Students can and do come to me, they can report to the administration in the music offices, or they can notify faculty,” said Curt Blankenship, the music department’s facility manager.

Celia Delahunty, a communication arts major, also said she feels she’s not being accommodated for her chronic disability, which she turns in the appropriate forms for each semester.

“I still have professors asking me to drop their classes,” Delahunty said. “I feel that it’s not fair how they only address my disability when it isn’t bad and blame me for missing classes when I’m sick so often.”

Delahunty said she has tried to speak with the program coordinator of communication arts, but has had to leave notes with her contact information for the communication arts coordinator multiple times.

“She hasn’t answered my emails all semester, but all my professors expect her to know everything about the school which leads to them not helping me,” Delahunty said.

Samuel Goodrich, Contributing Writer

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