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Humber Film & Media Production Computer Problems

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Dear [Dean and Associate Dean]:

Thank you for reading the following petition and hearing our concerns. By paying full tuition, students in the Film and Media Production program receive a promise to get high quality education and resources, but because of our inadequate and inefficient technical infrastructure and support, we are not receiving the full value of our tuition. We would like to bring these issues to your attention so that our program can improve and remain competitive, and so that our technical resources better match the quality of education we are receiving through our faculty and through one another.

Therefore, the undersigned students of the Film and Media Production program at Humber College would like to address the following concerns which have come to our attention:

Hardware and software performance is not adequate. L Building Fourth Floor Lab and I building Basement Lab hardware has not been upgraded for several years, limiting its usability for the high demands of post-production workflows. There is no strategic mechanism for updating software over time to stay up to date with the consistent industry standard versions. Different labs are not coordinated with the same versions of software, making it impossible to bring a project from one lab to another. Key software for our required projects, such as MovieMagic, may only be available in certain labs where scheduled class times make adequate access impossible. HB106 editing and sound suites often have technical issues that are not addressed in a timely fashion. In detail: Computer mice and USB ports are defective. Projectors and monitors are unreliable and are not color-calibrated, resulting in a workspace where final professional projects cannot be produced. The stereo sound system is not calibrated, making sound finishing work inconsistent. On the weekends, when we have special after-hours access, the computers nevertheless log students out at midnight, making it impossible to work at a time when tech support is inaccessible. Technical support is unreliable and slow. Technical support is hard to reach and slow to respond, resulting in valuable time lost by both students and professors. A response may take anywhere from an hour to three days, in some cases extending out with an indefinite time frame, with no way for students to plan strategically for their projects to be completed in a timely fashion. Technical support often do not know how to fix issues as they arise. There is no dedicated technical support that knows how to address the specific issues of our program’s software and hardware. There is no clear division of labor for which staff should handle any given issue, for example who is responsible for certain hardware or software issues, causing confusion and a lack of action. Hardware issues are addressed by staff at North Campus, while software issues are addressed by staff at Lakeshore Campus. Because hardware and software issues naturally overlap, with this lack of coordination it is difficult to resolve even the most basic technical issues.

Our requests therefore include the following:

Hardware issues: All computers and computer accessories must be in working condition at all times. L building lab and I building lab hardware must be brought up to date. Software issues: All lab computers must have all the necessary software installed and updated throughout the school year. L building lab software and I building lab software must all be updated and monitored. Efficient technical support: When issues arise, clear instructions and an improved response strategy from dedicated tech support must be put in place. A strategy must be put in place to coordinate results if staff from different campuses are servicing the labs separately. Professors need to be able to focus on teaching, and technical issues must be resolved quickly and smoothly when they do occur.

As many of us are working hard to complete our degrees, we strongly urge the school to improve its technical infrastructure and support so that we can make the best work possible with the time we have. In order to complete work up to a standard that meets basic program demands, students are being forced to make side purchases, access off-campus hardware and software, and use the equipment of outside contractors. This is unacceptable. We cannot allow this to happen, and we have to think of the reputation of the program, and the situation of students in the future. Therefore, it is crucial to address these concerns now, before the beginning of the new term in Fall 2015.

Thank you for hearing our concerns. We look forward to your response and write with the best interests of the program and its students in mind.

Signed by:

Humber College Film and Media Production Students

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