Opinions mixed as Communication Department enforces camera purchases

By Sonia Aquije

 

Kean University students have mixed reactions about a new policy being enforced this semester that requires those taking video production classes to purchase a video camera.

The cameras were once allowed to be rented out but the ongoing cycle of damaging and keeping them past their due date has contributed to the decision.  The communication department’s low budget can’t keep up with repairing or purchasing of new cameras as well.

“There is a minimal budget,” said Christopher Lynch, chair of the communication department, “We’re still in a recession and state colleges get less funding.”

Communication students with options in journalism, film and media are required to take the video production courses in order to graduate.

A letter sent out by the communication department late this summer suggested the $300 Canon Vixia HF R200, available for purchase on Amazon.com. However, the same cameras price range varies to an escalating $350, not including the necessary additional equipment.

“I find it somewhat unfair, especially to students on a budget,” said Michael Buska, an undecided communication junior. “Not to mention we have to purchase an external hard drive, condenser microphone, and a text book.”

Media Professor Larry Tung is optimistic about the new camera policy. He is certain students will support it.

“I think the students understand the policy. It’s like taking a photography class. If you want to take it, you have to have your own camera,” said Tung.

Tung believes cameras now are more affordable than they were a few years ago.

“I was a production student before and got myself a small camera for $700. This was 11 years ago. It was a very good investment. I wish it was this affordable back then,” said Tung.

Tung also said it’s ultimately up to the student themselves to decide whether or not purchase the camera. In order to succeed in their course, he says, it is a must.

“If they want to become proficient in production, they have to get familiar with the equipment. Then only way to achieve that goal is to use it all the time. Practice makes perfect,” he said.

Christopher Halasz a junior film and photography major believes it’s “outrageous” to purchase their own film equipment.

“Because of student fees that they charge, students should be provided with it already. The faculty should be more careful about watching what students do with Kean equipment,” said Halasz.

For students on a budget; it’s difficult.  The definition of affordable varies among students.

“Every student has a right to an affordable education and this too is not affordable to someone who is barely getting by,” said Halasz. “To make students pull more money out of their pockets when they do not have any to start off.”

Victor Campuzano, a student, considers it a financial strain.

“The only bad thing about it is that not all students have money to buy one, some (like myself), have to use credit cards or borrow money,” said Campuzano.

Despite the monetary issue, Campuzano is optimistic that it was a good investment.

“It is going to help us learn and practice how to make videos for school, our personal life and our future career,” he said.


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