Art Students Lose Out On Clay, Reveal Frustrations With Administration

Various 3D Art students at Texas A&M International University have been disregarded despite the lack and disappearance of 3D art making materials.  Students have become subjected to work in ceramic and sculpture classrooms with little to no clay for most of the Spring 2016 semester. TAMIU graduate student, Vanessa Filazola, stated that her consultation regarding the shipments of art materials to the head of education, business, and arts and sciences via a student forum meeting were met with a response stating that their e-mails get are deleted every 30 days.   The lack of communication from administration has not only concerned students but has made a considerable impact on professors as well. Art professor David Bogus explained that simple things like faculty travel and ordering  materials “have become difficult tasks to complete when they simply weren’t before.” Administration is currently established so that there are not only one but two co-chairs and also an event service administrator. “Three people” Bogus annotates, “that make communication much more difficult.”   Evidently, a major recent concern was the flooding that took place in the Fine and Preforming Art’s building. Bogus explains how there was high powered fans placed all over the ceramic studio which allowed for a silica dust hazard to become more prominent.  “There has been a silica dust hazard on going since I arrived on campus” states Bogus, “and the air ventilation in the studio was never properly installed as well…classes should have been cancelled but they weren’t.”   Despite health precautions, the sudden removal of the majority of clay was removed and locked up without earlier notice to faculty.  This situation made it impossible for students to work on their future projects considering each bag of clay is more than 50 pounds and more than 500 feet away.   According to Bogus, administration and faculty had agreed to only move a measuring scale outside but instead all the materials needed for student’s projects were taken away.  Rudy Salinas, an art major, states that Spring 2016, “made me feel limited and not able to create art which is necessary just like it is necessary for nursing majors to participate in clinicals. I feel like there’s not enough to work with as it is, and I don’t think it was necessary to take it away to begin with.” These materials are difficult to replace even after their intended use. Though the flooding was unprecedented, the effects of lost and damaged materials could and should have been predicted by administration.   Overall, Spring 2016 has been a difficult semester for art students, especially those interested in 3D art. With the lack of many essential materials needed for 3D art making, students are left with frustration as their tuition costs are for materials that have been out of reach for the majority of the semester.   To some students, this may seen like an easy way out from planned assignments. However, students have, nonetheless, paid for these courses and are demanding their education.   The flooding accident that happened may have been beyond the control of the department, but the school needs to be prepared for such incidents. One way or another, the students need to be taught for the classes they registered. Being an art class, that makes it more difficult because all the equipment needed, but this could have happened in the nursing school or a science lab with similar effects. Hopefully, incidents such as this one will serve as a lesson in crisis management for the university.
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