Dance students angry about broken promise

All the students of the School of Theatre and Dance have been swamped with rehearsals for their productions. Throughout all these rehearsal times, students continue to voice concerns about an article published Oct. 6 in the Northern Star about the residents of the Fine Arts House, in the Neptune North residence hall, not receiving their theatre/dance studio. The article did state the problem, but did not actually cover why the theater and dance students are so disappointed. In fact, although some residents and students were interviewed, nothing substantial from these individuals was quoted.

Last year (Spring 2005) there was a meeting held with housing staff in which the residents of Neptune North were asked what they wanted done with the old Student Insurance Office. During that meeting the fine arts residents were told the available space would be made into a theatre/dance studio because the art and music majors already had a space in the Fine Arts House. After talking with facilities and housing the students were informed the studio would be available for use in fall 2005 – fully equipped with full-length mirrors, ballet barres, Marley flooring and a stereo system mounted to the wall.

Upon returning this school year, the residents discovered the promises made to them were broken and their long-awaited theater/dance studio was a commuting and non-traditional student office.

Although the article presented in the Star stated this office was only temporarily located in Neptune North, it also directly mocked and ignored the concerns of the residents living in the Fine Arts House.

The residents were not informed on exactly how long “temporary” actually is.

The school is trying to stress its core values: student-centered service, partnerships focused on student learning, establishing inclusive communities and actively building collaborative relationships.

The residents of Neptune North do not see how making this an office for commuter and non-traditional students instead of a theatre/dance studio is following these values.

Beginning the school year with yet another thing taken away from the fine arts students does not help with building good rapport with the school. The students were looking forward to this studio so they could perfect their art.

Rehearsal and practice space is limited already, and the studio would have benefited so many students. The theater and dance buildings are not open on the weekends or after 10 p.m. on weekdays. This studio, being located in the building where a good majority of the theatre/dance students live, would be open 24/7, giving the students the opportunity to practice whenever they wanted or needed.

In being just another office (open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday), the room is not being used to its full potential; nor is it benefiting the greater majority of the population that could be putting the space to better use. If the school wants to promote its core values it should look at the whole picture and see which group of people would gain the most out of this space.

In addition, the people making the decisions should be putting more effort into moving the commuter and non-traditional student office to a better location and working with the residents of the Fine Arts House to make the theater/dance studio an asset to their education.

In writing this letter, the fine arts residents of Neptune North hope to have their voices and concerns heard.

Alexandria Callahan

Senior, dance and psychology majors