The School of Music belongs in the College of Liberal Arts

The recent decision to prohibit non-music majors from renting rooms is a wrong move for all.

by Camille Galles

Amid College of Liberal Arts Dean John Coleman’s plans for a cohesive CLA roadmap, there’s a department that’s been veering off the road. Administrative problems have plagued the School of Music ever since the controversial removal of Anne Barnes, the former primary adviser and assistant department director of the school, this summer.

The recent decision to prohibit non-music majors from renting ensemble rooms is emblematic of how the lack of transparency, communication and flexibility within the School of Music administrative office prevents the department — and its students — from becoming fully functional members of CLA. As the search for a new music school director continues, administrators should seek a candidate who can commit to bridging the gap between the music school and the rest of CLA.

 Most music students pursue a bachelor of music degree. With these unique degrees come unique equipment needs, admission requirements and class-scheduling conflicts.

These factors distance many music students from many CLA experiences. For example, the opportunity to study abroad for a semester and still graduate in four years is nearly impossible for most students pursuing a B.M. degree.

The music school’s current strategy of handling all these procedures under one roof — Ferguson Hall — only further separates students. Misinformation and complicated administrative procedures have become normal parts of everything to renting an instrument locker to scheduling classes.

In an attempt to give music students unique attention, the School of Music has bitten off more than it can chew. The department needs to find a way to operate within the existing administrative structure of CLA in way that still respects the uniqueness of its services. Otherwise, students within and outside the music school will remain isolated.