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Western students use new media center

Sophomore Etson McKeague, junior Penelope Kipps and senior Michael Barone record the audio for the innovative education interview in the ATUS Media Center on Monday, March 28, 2016. // Photo by Caitlin Cohen
Sophomore Etson McKeague, junior Penelope Kipps and senior Michael Barone record the audio for the innovative education interview in the ATUS Media Center on Monday, March 28, 2016. // Photo by Caitlin Cohen

A new media center has opened in Haggard Hall room 246 and will be operated by Academic Technology and User Services to provide opportunities for students and faculty to utilize the studio.

The 900-square-foot studio includes a green screen, LED lights with digital multiplex program control, three high definition studio cameras, teleprompting, computer graphics generation and media recording, according to a press release.

The studio offers a space for a variety of different productions such as talk shows, interviews, news, music sessions and documentaries. Students will decide how they want to use the studio and any student or department will have access to the Digital Media Center.

“It’s a huge new resource for students and faculty to use. Part of my goal is to get it in as many hands as possible.”

Robert Clark, ATUS video services manager

The need for the center came in 2009 when colleges, such as the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies needed a television studio for new media. The money Western receives each year for projects was used along with funds from the president’s office and provost office to create the center.

With technology and resources growing all the time, the space was built to be able to grow with it. Because the media center is new, a set schedule to use the room has not yet been created, and the center is currently being used on an as needed basis for students. A schedule for spring quarter is in the works. Students will be able to sign up for training and time to use the center.

Senior Michael Barone works with video services, majors in film studies at Fairhaven College and helps out in the digital media center when needed.

“[The digital media center] is a great hands on experience for students to come in and learn what a TV studio is like,” Barone said.

Robert Clark, ATUS video services manager, hopes new classes will be created to specifically use the room and its equipment. Clark plans for individual classes to be able to come in and use the equipment. Learning to use and produce videos in the media center could also become an elective within Fairhaven College, Clark said.

“It’s a huge new resource for students and faculty to use,” Clark said. “Part of my goal is to get it in as many hands as possible.”

Clark said the center will likely be student-run. Free workshops and training will be offered for students wanting to run productions on their own. There are six positions available, including operating the cameras, lights, the switch board, graphics, running audio and tape playback. Students that learn all of these positions would be able to produce shows.

Students have already been trained and are certified to use the equipment will be available to help with a production when needed.

Sophomore Nick Gossage interns with video services and majors in film studies through Fairhaven College, and he was directed to the digital media center for experience in a studio. He wants to be involved with writing and directing in film and TV. Gossage said the training and overall operation of the studio was “pretty straight forward.”

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