Mosaic / January 31, 2019

Students discuss lack of resources in small departments

Senior Cassie Castaneda talks about her experience with the Film department. The Film department at Knox exclusively deals with film theory rather than production (Ali Olejniczak/TKS)

Though Knox offers a variety of niche minors and majors. Some students  believe programs like Dance Studies, Film and Journalism don’t have the proper resources for students to.

Smaller departments offer deeper connections with the faculty and more opportunities to gain  connections, but some students don’t think that cuts it. Senior and journalism minor Emma Cullnan feels the effects of the limited program first hand.

“I don’t really know how to make it because I don’t know anyone in the industry … it’s not big enough, it’s not diverse enough in terms of both professors and curriculum,” she said. “It’s hard for me as a student who wants to be a journalist in a time where it’s hard to be a journalist in a school where they don’t prioritize my career and what I want to do and my interests É They aren’t investing in my future, but I’m sure investing in [Knox’s] future.”

Senior Tricia Duke feels that, unlike Cullnan, she is getting what she seeks out of the journalism program. Although small, she feels she is gaining the knowledge to be a general journalist. Since this isn’t her main focus of study, Duke sees the journalism minor as beneficial for her in her future. Howeve

Duke agrees that for someone, like Cullnan, who aspires to be in the journalism world, the journalism program wouldn’t prepare one entirely for the field.

Senior Emily Hagerotthas  found that the Dance department also has struggled throughout her years at Knox and as an active member in Terpsichore.

“There has always been a fight for space between students and professors and different departments on campus,” Hagerott said.

Senior Sally Butzerfinds that coming into Knox as a dancer of many years, it is hard to maintain the skill in this academic setting. She wishes the program were able to offer more intense technical classes that challenge advanced dancers, but understands the importance in the community of dance and offering it to all levels and non-dancers as well.

“I put a lot of value working from the bottom up, like working from the basics, using all that knowledge to get somewhere, and this sometimes feels like a top-down idea,” Butzer said.

Though the Film department is one of the smaller departments at Knox, Seniors Libby Croceand Cassie Castanedaboth speak highly about their experiences with the Film theory courses offered here.

Croce explained that learning film theory has been one of the biggest factors in helping her through her classes at Knox. The English department and Film department overlap intensely, and for Croce being able to discuss films that she loves was an important part of her experience.

“I love the film department here, truly some of my favorite courses I’ve taken at Knox have been film courses. I love the film theory aspect, I think generally our film classes are pretty theory-heavy,” Croce said.

If a student is looking for Film Production, according to Professor Emily Anderson, Knox hasn’t found the logistics in offering such expensive equipment to the public.

“We would be delighted to offer courses in film production, in order to do that we need someone who can teach film production and the equipment that students would use to produce films. It’s also difficult to figure out how to get access to all the students to cameras, sets, lighting, that they would need to produce the kinds of films that we would want to be teaching,” Anderson said.

As for Castaneda, she began to notice as she went through the creative writing program how interconnected the English and film programs were. She was excited to fall in love with movies and discuss them in niche ways.

“They offered something new to the liberal arts program. I fell in love with some of my favorite movies now, the courses offered here have introduced me to so many different genres of film,” Castaneda said.

Both film minors see the small department as a positive part of their Knox experiences but recognize that the small aspects push them out of the general conversation through Knox as a whole, just as the Dance and Journalism programs are pushed out.

Though students are still interested in the programs that are being offered at Knox, they agree that there could be a better allotment of resources for those smaller departments.

Sadie Cheney


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