Meet film students halfway

If the U is unwilling to make a full film program, it should extend more services to SCMC students.

Daily Editorial Board

The Minnesota Daily reported earlier this month that students and faculty are frustrated with the University of Minnesota’s lack of a tried-and-true film studies major and underserved by its closest equivalent, studies in cinema and media culture.

SCMC students described a program that does little to build their technical skills. The major is also is scattered across many departments, often making coursework redundant. Faculty and staff members discussed failed attempts to create space for SCMC students and instructors to
gather and study.

Without a new department or communal space, one student called the degree program “thrown together,” compared to Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s more
robust film program.

“You don’t need a new department to offer a new degree program,” College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean for Planning Gary Oehlert told the Daily. “We were able to offer [the SCMC program] by combining the resources we already had.”

But the University’s aspiring filmmakers are discovering that’s not the case.

CLA should reconsider setting up an editing station, screening rooms or other gathering space for students and instructors. Faculty within the cultural studies and comparative literature department should also work harder to make cross-departmental SCMC coursework less redundant. Finally, the University could explore sharing resources with MCTC to give film students a better
technical education.

If the University can’t or won’t create a dedicated film program, it should at least take steps to better serve its 100 SCMC students.