STUDENTS from the School of Film Studies have started a petition in response to repeated equipment failures experienced in a lecture room in the Newman Building. Both students and staff have voiced their concerns regarding the technical problems encountered in room E114.
Head of English, Drama & Film, Prof Nicholas Daly stated “if the petition does arrive, we will be taking it very seriously but we are aware of the problems that exist and the college is doing its best to fix them”.
E114 was not renovated during the summer months, unlike the larger lecture theatres in the Newman Building. Film Studies lecturer, Dr Harvey O’Brien does not believe that an upgrade for equipment will be approved in the near future, stating that “if it only goes to the head of the school, nothing will happen because nothing can happen”.
Dr O’Brien described himself as more frustrated by the lack of response rather than the equipment failures saying “there is no response until there is an actual breakdown and that really is not good enough”. He added that he frequently has to deal with equipment that fails to function properly.
Acknowledging that alternative venues have been offered in which to hold screenings and lectures, Dr O’Brien dismissed these as being “completely unrealistic”.
Dr O’Brien echoed the sentiments of many students, stating that “it’s frustrating to have a lecturer standing in front of you, talking about some important principle of film and then when he presses a button to demonstrate it for you, it doesn’t work properly”.
Third year Film Studies student, Gavin Carton, expressed his disappointment regarding the situation describing it as “frustrating”. He explained that this has been an ongoing problem for the past three years adding that “there were about two or three weeks that we didn’t have class in first year [due to the equipment failures]”.
A first year student agreed with Mr Carton’s irritation, stating that she was unable to understand her lectures. “It was hard to take notes [and] I got lost during the class because [the lecturer] couldn’t show us some film clips.” She said that she signed the petition and believed that most students would do so, adding that “you expect to get the best out of the class.”
E114 is used for all undergraduate lectures and for most undergraduate film screenings. Dr O’Brien had recently resigned as Head of Film Studies over problems encountered with equipment in E114 and stated that he “had no ability to affect change in the area”.