By Alicia Hayashi
Christopher Lacroix, a second-year photography student, couldn’t shoot his still-life project when a professor took over studio space.
Lacroix said he planned his photo shoot a week in advance, and double-checked that the Kerr Hall West studiowould be available. But when he arrived, the studio was booked by a professor. Professors, said Lacroix, are allowed to book studio space whenever they want, even for lectures.
“I don’t have a studio space at my apartment,” said Lacroix. He finished his assignment on time, but only after reordering his schedule and cutting his post-production time in half.
“If those pictures didn’t turn out, I wouldn’t of had time to re-shoot,” Lacroix said.
After determining his classmates had experienced similar problems, Lacroix started a petition to request the revision of the policies surrounding access to equipment, studios and facilities.
The petition was first passed around at an image arts town hall meeting on Feb. 23. About 100 people signed the petition there, Lacroix said.
Robert Burley, director of the photography program, said professors do have priority for the studio space for classes, but to his understanding they can’t kick out students who already have the space booked.
While Lacroix said he initially wrote the petition with photography students in mind, access to equipment is an issue for those in other streams, particularly new media.
“In advance I had permission cleared on lights that I needed. When I went in to get them, the clearance had not yet been processed,” said Mac Pepler, a second-year image arts student.
While he eventually got access to the lights, he doesn’t agree with how some equipment is restricted to certain programs.
Don Snyder, the chair of image arts, said his department anticipated that the construction of the image arts building would lead to more concerns about equipment. Cages are now located at three separate locations.
“Every year we go through the cage routines. In the spring we have a big staff meeting… This year there was a lot of guess work,” Snyder said.
Lacroix said he plans to present the petition to faculty by next week.
— With files from Julianna Cummins