Since its recent launch, the School of Communication and Media (SCM) has provided new resources to students like sound rooms, auditoriums with surround sound and newsrooms for broadcasting. Yet, even with these great advantages, having easily accessible wall outlets in the sitting areas seems to be missing from the bigger picture.
Even in a brand new state-of-the-art building which strives to encapsulate every convenience, sometimes the finer details slip through the cracks. These details could could make the difference between cultivating new, creative ideas and losing them. As small as they are, wall outlets are one of these important details.
In the first floor siting room, the outlets are against the walls a few feet away from the first pair of chairs. Student who have utilized these outlets have found themselves reprimanded for causing a fire hazard. Students must go to the four chairs upstairs if they want proper access to outlets but the majority just go to other buildings. Due to the lack of outlets, most seats are already taken that have access to an outlet.
Other outlets are sometimes in random or inconvenient places. Some outlets can be found along hallways, by doors, inside classrooms or around corners with no chairs. Students in a hurry usually find themselves wandering around the building to find outlets. There are just not enough outlets that are also accessible, especially around the sitting areas where students need them.
The SCM was built to conveniently bring students together, not have them wandering around. In a building designed for multimedia purposes, students need accessible outlets to record sound, charge cameras, edit photos, write papers, set up equipment and more. Whether their work is for classes, projects or personal endeavors, a shortage of outlets is an inconvenience for students nonetheless.
On the other hand, it’s possible that the building intended to not have all the seating be easily accessible to an outlet. Students don’t always need to be plugged in; they can enjoy their breaks inbetween classes to eat and talk with friends. However, in a way it disreagrds the needs of students. Students need to be able to get work done. In a technologically savvy building where students have classes in spacious rooms and have hands-on television classes in control rooms and studios, the lack of accessible wall outlets is a concern.
It’s also important to note that the building could have reached its maximum amount of outlets available for the entire building when they were building it so they were unable to add more. But in this case, the outlets should have been placed in areas that students could use instead of students seeing random outlets placed in unreachable locations. The placement of these outlets could have been more thought out to make sure students can get the most out of their free time in the SCM whether it means working on projects or finishing Canvas assignments.
The School of Communication and Media is a great example of what Montclair State officials hope the campus will look like going forward. For students, the SCM building portends a bright, innovative and motivating future. Oversights like wall outlets can dull the edges of that vision and cause aggravation. There is no reason why both Montclair State officials and students can not enjoy the perks of buildings that are beautiful inside and out.