By Bryce Newberry
Senator, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication
As Cronkite students and student organizations, we have noticed a problem with the use of equipment and technology to ensure the highest quality of productions. As a Cronkite Senator, this problem has not gone unnoticed and it is our top priority for the spring semester.
THE PROBLEM: Cronkite students have access to the broadcast lab on the 6th floor to check out equipment for classwork use. However, this does not apply to student organizations that need equipment to work in the field and cover events for their own productions. Additionally, this means Cronkite student organizations are coming to USGD requesting funding for endless amounts of equipment for each organization.
THE SOLUTION: Undergraduate Student Government Downtown will purchase a sufficient amount of equipment for student organizations to check out and use for field work and events that need coverage. This will be a long process that will be refined over time.
THE PROCESS: As mentioned, this will be a long process and we will have to take a lot of necessary precautions to protect student fee dollars but also benefit as many students as possible.
Cronkite Senators will meet with student organization leaders to establish the needs and wants for equipment. This will include a lot of information, like the number of registered and active members, number of hours of content produced per semester by organization and details about where each organization publishes content. Based on these needs, Cronkite Senators will work with administrators to establish the types and amounts of equipment needed.
Cronkite Senators will work with Cronkite faculty to determine the most efficient and cost-effective equipment to serve student organizations. This will be for all types of equipment that we hear is necessary for student organizations to take their productions to the next level. A funding request will be issued for all of the equipment.
If approved, Cronkite Senators will order the equipment with our Business Operations Specialist and begin to establish a secure checkout process with Cronkite administrators and the Dean of Students office. The process will be as simple as possible, but might also require some extra steps while we work to refine it and make it effective for all student organizations. At the end of March, Cronkite Senators will meet with content-producing student organizations to explain the process and equipment, and answer any questions that are out there before the process begins.
Student organization leaders will be able to test-run the process and the equipment to provide feedback on the process and how it can improve. We will work to make changes and improve throughout the month, ensuring that equipment is still safe and secure at all times.
This process will allow the Fall 2017 semester to begin with a smooth and secure process for student organizations to use equipment. We want it to be a process available to all, while protecting the equipment we purchase and ensuring that student organizations are getting the full benefit of the equipment.
As I mentioned, this will be a long and daunting process. We will need the support of student organization leaders throughout the duration of the work and the willingness to be flexible and adaptable as we work to find the best and most effective process for all.
We know that this is a problem and have discussed at length solutions to it. We are committed to student organizations and helping them take their content production to the next level. Please be involved as much as possible and feel free to ask questions as we go.