Grand opening for new student media location set for Oct. 2

Photos courtesy of student media
Students work in various roles within student media, which includes the newspaper, online media and broadcast. The Communication and Student Media Department has relocated from Potter Hall to the Jenkins Building.

 The Communication and Student Media Department will be hosting its grand opening of its newly located space at 4 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Jenkins Building, Room 1108. 

The event will be an open house experience that will allow students to get hands-on interaction with the equipment familiar with student media.

While student media has already taken advantage of this new space and all of its merits, the location addresses the changing media climate.

“As far as I know, Potter was the original location of the journalism department,” said Rachel Jennische, professor of communication and student media. “We’ve kind of been in that same place for quite a long time, and while it was great for what the space was originally intended for, a newspaper where they developed their own photos, the department has grown to include more web design and videography, as well as a newscast. We’ve basically outgrown that space where it no longer serves our needs.” 

The change in location came with approval at the end of May, and was put into motion weeks before school began. 

“By being in this new space, we were able to add a control room and an audio booth, which are kind of crucial for doing things like a television newscast if you want to do them right,” said Derik Gray, professor and coordinator of communication and student media. “Being able to add those facilities will really enhance the learning outcomes for students. We want this facility to be much more closely tied to or more of a direct representation of what they would get if they worked in industry.”

The space includes a separate audio booth where a director can have direct control over a show without interrupting the anchors. This is very similar feature that can be found in professional newsrooms. 

“Previously, broadcast wasn’t quite able to reach its full potential. Our broadcast space was also a classroom space, and it was also a student lab space, where they made the newspaper,” Jennische said. “The space wasn’t open and available to students and now this space is open and available.”

Joining student media is not restricted to students pursuing a degree in communication. 

“It’s real easy actually,” Gray said. “At any point, any student here on campus, doesn’t matter what their major is, can come to the meetings Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m., stop by and say, ‘Hey, I want to get involved,’ and they can start getting involved. We usually, at the end of every semester, will do formal calls for editor positions, and students will apply for those.”

Joining student media allows students to work for the newspaper, The DrumBeat, as well as the broadcast. Students in the program can also enter in competition in the Texas Community College Journalism Association and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association every semester.

“I really hope students take the opportunity to come in here and learn and get their hands on some of the equipment, so that when they enter the workforce or go into these competitions all of this stuff is second nature. Now they have to opportunity