Two weeks into the fall semester, members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) have varied feelings about “Meredith East” and the new locations of journalism classes.
With Meredith Hall undergoing renovations for the rest of the school year, SJMC students, staff and student organizations have been seeking out new temporary homes all around campus, primarily in the string of old buildings on 25th Street nicknamed “Meredith East.”
SJMC Assistant to the Dean Mallory Quinn said that as far as the faculty is concerned, the move has been a “fairly easy transition.”
Furthermore, from what Quinn has observed in her role working one-on-one with students all day, she said the students’ overall response to the new surroundings has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
“The students I talked to said they actually loved the new spaces and that the office building felt really homey,” Quinn said. “Most students were especially excited about the ping pong table.”
Sophomore Zoe Sadauskis, a digital media production and multimedia journalism major who also serves as the news director of Drake Broadcasting Systems (DBS), said her favorite part of the new SJMC campus is the hair-salon-turned-digital-media classroom.
“Something about that old Great Clips building just brings good vibes for class,” she said.
According to Sadauskis, she and other SJMC students have found it easier to adjust to Meredith East because of how much time they spend in the new DBS lounge, located in the basement of the SJMC office building.
“It’s definitely not as nice as the one that we had last year in Meredith and it’s been a challenge to get used to, but I imagine it would be a lot harder for people who do not have a club to claim home to in the new Meredith buildings,” Sadauskis said.
One SJMC professor said it doesn’t seem to be the students who are having any struggles with the transition at all — it’s the professors.
Professor Sandy Henry said she personally has found herself disoriented by the new classrooms.
“To a certain extent, I feel like it’s harder on me than it is on them because I have done it the old way before and they haven’t,” Henry said. “They don’t know what they don’t have.”
Henry said her classes have been running smoothly as far as technology and production quality go, but there have been little things throwing her off, such as she can never remember where she put her things down.
“It’s just been kind of exhausting because I don’t have my routine anymore,” Henry said.
Sadauskis also said it has been difficult to lose the routine of not having her SJMC classes in one building. Additionally, she said the long walk to 25th Street has taken some time to get adjusted to.
“As a sophomore living in GK (Goodwin-Kirk), those buildings are on the completely opposite side of campus, so that’s definitely something new I have to take into account when I’m getting ready to go to class,” Sadauskis said.
Despite these classroom challenges, Henry said most members of the SJMC are “really liking it” in the new office. She loves that she can sit in her office and wave at students on their way downstairs to the Times-Delphic and DBS offices.
Quinn shared a similar sentiment, saying she has enjoyed seeing more and more students spend time in the office as they become familiar with Meredith East.
“I’m happy to see that students like the new building and that they are finding spaces to study or meet with friends,” Quinn said.
Despite the overall varying feelings about Meredith East, students and staff alike have said they are eager to return to Meredith when its renovations are completed next August.
“I’m just really looking forward to having my home base back,” Sadauskis said.
Henry shared a similar sentiment, calling Meredith East the SJMC’s “summer vacation home” whereas Meredith is their “home home.”
“I will always be desperate to get back to Mother Meredith,” Henry said. “I will always want to go back to home home.”