Is change always for the better?

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Kristen Riello

Every new year at Quinnipiac comes with new changes across campus, throughout the residence halls, the majors and the professors, but where does that leave us as students?

Freshman year, I went on something called the Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) retreat. All interactive digital design (IDD), game design and development (GDD) and theater majors were required to go.

Initially, I was dreading a weekend trip with a bunch of strangers, but little did I know that the stranger who fell asleep on my shoulder on the way there would become my best friend and roommate for the next 3 years. I had no idea that some of the people on that trip would become my best friends and remain some of my closest friends to this day.

In a campus of what felt like business and health science majors, I found people who had a love for the arts and who I had things in common with.

My freshman year was the last time my program did the retreat. As much of an unfortunate cut this was, it’s not my biggest problem. My problem is with all the other cuts made to my program.

My junior year, 2015-2016, was the year that IDD was switched to the School of Communications. With that switch came a new lab and new changes.

Our old lab was in Tator Hall, and it was open until midnight, unless of course you were pulling an all-nighter. The sense of community that came along with all of us IDD majors stressing out in one room until the wee hours of the morning is something we lost when our lab got switched to the Center for Communications and Engineering. The lab closed at 10 p.m., making it not even worth going into. We lost that community that we once held onto so closely. If ever I had a design question, I could count on a friendly upperclassman to be in the lab to help me out. When I was first starting out in the program, I learned so much from my senior friends who hung out in the lab. Even if we didn’t have work we would hang out in there just to help others out, provide moral support and even offer comic relief.

Some people think all these changes may seem great, and some of them actually are. I think IDD majors should have been in the School of Communications the whole time, although it’s disappointing that my major wasn’t there in the first place. But a lot of these changes have hindered the community that design majors and creative thinkers really need. We needed that extra learning environment outside of the classroom so that we could learn from people with more experience and talk through our design problems.

There’s no longer any transcendence between the upperclassmen and the students just starting off in the program. In such a small major that sense of community is so important, and now it’s gone.
These are just some of the changes in one major, which brings me to think that these changes are probably happening in every other major. Are students continually losing the sense of community within their major? Are all these changes cutting off learning opportunities for those who need it? As students, we’re left to pick up the pieces and left to figure out all the changes for ourselves and how they affect us.