The Fine Arts Center has been the main center for the Department of Music for over 50 years; every inch of its three floors is utilized, with classrooms, rehearsal spaces, recording studios, offices, music closets, practice rooms, and more. It is so filled with sound and life that it feels like returning to an old friend’s house, even on the most stressful of days.
The vast majority of our Department spend hours upon hours every week inside of it. Put simply, if the Music Department is the soul, the FAC is the body. It’s instrumental in how we as a Department operate. To come onto campus and learn that not only were we, as an entire Department on all levels, uninformed about construction and renovation; to be told that we were entirely shut out and unable to access the facilities that we, as students, pay for with our extensive tuition; to tell our faculty that they have to clear out the offices they have been using for half a century; to have any and all information withheld; to be carelessly shoehorned into disparate rooms inside the Kahn building as an obvious afterthought; to be kept in the dark about the future of the building and who it’s going to instead of us; and finally, to not be given any hint of an idea as to where we are going to be housed next – not only is it hateful, it is a stab in the back from the administration. How are we, as students, supposed to feel when all this is happening and then be told that our Department is valued and cared for? How are we supposed to feel anything but anger, fear, and betrayal?
We, as students of the Department of Music, are still being kept in the dark after being evicted. In a pandemic that has thoroughly disrupted our rehearsals, performances, even our main courses, our final place of stability has been ripped away from us. I do not know if the FAC is going to house a different Department, or else the newly announced Society of Presidential Descendants. But I would just like to remind those involved in the decision to tear the Fine Arts Center away from the Music Department of what former President Gerald Ford had to say: “Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.”
Senior instrumental performance major