Restructure of the Media Services Department, Regent's University London
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A formal request by the Student's of the Regent's School of Drama, Film and Media at Regent's University London.
Students who have to frequently use and interact with the Media Services department almost unanimously agree that serious change is needed as most feel it currently does not offer adequate support for their course of study. The following are a list of issues we would like addressed.
- Firstly, we would like internet access returned to the media services editing room. This was taken away without any explanation or consultation of the students and seriously affects our ability to edit and our productivity. We need internet to look up instructional videos when having difficulty editing, to find and download music and sound effects for our videos and to promote our work creatively on social media and crowdfunding websites. To not have internet access when editing slows the entire process down and is unexplainable in 2015 when you consider online promotion and marketing is a vital part of all our courses and the industry as a whole.
- Change the way in which students reserve equipment. The new online system has already proven unreliable on several occasions, and system errors have repeatedly resulted in students being given little to no notice that their equipment hasn't been properly reserved before they are due to shoot. The previous system of booking by email and in person worked perfectly well except for in cases where staff members had forgotten to check their inbox.
- A clear, agreed upon guidelines as to who is entitled to use which equipment. Despite being told multiple times by our heads of school that both the Film, TV and Digital Media and Screenwriting and Production course are entitled to the same equipment, providing relevant training has been given, Media Services still repeatedly change the rules day to day and success in booking third year equipment is heavily reliant on who happens to be working that day and if they are feeling generous, as oppose to any clear rule which is agreed upon by both Media Services and our course leaders.
- Time management needs to be addressed. On more than one occasion, students have reported visiting media services up to an hour before it is scheduled to close, only to find they have locked up early. This has happened repeatedly and resulted in one student not being able to pick up his equipment in time for his final project he was filming early the next day. It has also affected people trying to return equipment at the end of the day only to find a locked door and having to drag everything back home with them.
- Scrap the five item limit. The principle of the rule is understandable, there should be a limit on the amount of equipment each student can book out at once but unfortunately this means that for any reasonable sized production, multiple student cards have to be used which results in an increased likelihood of items being lost. In the case of booking online, single cables and lenses are treated as individual items and it can take up to five separate student cards to fully equip even the smallest of production crews. Media Services response to this is that they are happy to give extra cables and smaller accessories without counting it towards the total limit, but since the whole system is now online and we have been told we're not allowed to book in person, this is irrelevant as the computer system doesn't take this allowance into account.
- Not being able to book equipment in person is another issue for students, particularly those who are less technologically minded. The opportunity to ask for advice and get help with selecting the most appropriate equipment for a production should be a key role of the department and students should not be left to book blindly online.
- Priority over all equipment and facilities should be given to students over staff. On a few occasions certain equipment or rooms have not been available to students as members of Media Services have opted to book them for themselves.
- Professionalism of the staff needs to be addressed. There have been several complaints about the treatment of students, ranging from unprofessional remarks regarding some students intelligence or ability to inappropriate comments made to some of the female students. We would like an assigned person to whom we can file a complaint if such events occur and assurance that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
We would like these issues addressed with immediacy and encourage open communication between the students and the University with regards to the actions being taken to implement these changes. We feel as both students and financiers of the University we have every right in the decision of how our money is spent and how our courses are run