Tools of the trade

By Andy Garrison

March 28, 2014

Many degree programs at Missouri Western have classes built into them that require equipment and materials that the respective departments are not currently capable of supplying. During my time at Western I have probably spent upwards of $7,000 on additional programs and photography and sound equipment just to meet the requirements of my courses. I realize that is probably excessive to what a student who lived closer to campus and who has access to the programs in the labs probably pays but some of those things are not currently even accessible at all. A good example being a DSLR camera which is required material for at least two classes I have and is not offered to students in my field to checkout or rent. They offer cameras to students on the film side of the equation so I know that, at least in theory, they do have a process in place. It seems that thus far the media fields have just slipped through the gap. The two or three cameras they do offer are sub quality and would make it an unfair advantage in terms of quality of project to students who do have access to quality equipment from parents or friends. The field needs to be leveled, and if a class is going to require equipment, then that department should have those things available for students to have access to. They are going to change this oversight by as soon as next year. That does little though for students such as myself who have already taken the courses, or those who will have, by the time this is set into motion. We need to check into all of our programs at Western and make sure that expensive equipment that is required for courses of any kind is available to all our students before anyone else is held back, not by the quality of their work or ethics, but simply by accessibility to proper tools.