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Grace Chen
aspiring illustrator | vis dev

attending sjsu as an animation/illustration major

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Okay, the Animation/Illustration program at San Jose State university has been unfairly treated by the College of Humanities and the Arts for years.  We have now been so frustrated by those controlling what we can and cannot do, and we demand that we are allowed to become our own department so WE can control our own resources.  A direct quote from the petition states:

It is important that the Animation/Illustration program become its own department because we are not being represented adequately enough within our College of Humanities and Arts. 
Without a chair, the Animation/Illustration program does not have adequate representation at meetings where issues important to students are decided (for example, at space allocation meetings). What current representation we do have is not adequately informed about the concerns of students in the Animation/Illustration program and therefore is not sufficiently prepared to make compelling cases for student needs. 
Without a chair, the Animation/Illustration does not have a vote in previously mentioned meetings. 
“Program Status” places an unnecessary burden on the RTVFT department and other university administrators to understand and represent Animation/Illustration concerns. As an independent department, Animation/Illustration could better self manage to the benefit of the entire university.

Let me illustrated some problems we have encountered for several years.

  • From the timeframe of 2008 to 2012, the number of other arts students has decreased over 60 percent.  In the same timeframe, the number of A/I students has increased over 200 percent.  We have jumped from roughly 130 students to over 500 within our major.
  • In relation to the above, we only have a small handful [between 5-8] to ourselves for classes, or we have to share with the rest of the arts, which have priority access.  The rest of the art department occupy both the first and 3rd floors of the buildings, plus over half of the second floor, where all our rooms are located.  In an effort to find space, some of our beginning A/I students have to move over 30+ pounds of heavy equipment in and out of rooms to accommodate fine arts students.
  • Again, with ratios, we have to distribute all our students within 40 or so sections of classes that we are allowed to have, while arts receive 80 sections to offer to their smaller enrollment.
  • There has been an enormous problem adding classes, which is affecting me at this very moment.  With so few sections and too many students, we have to add over class capacities so people can move through the program.  The professors understand and are generous to take a few extras, because they are fighting with us.  Starting this semester, we have been requested to fill out a petition for an add code.  There have been numerous problems with this.  Those working in the office of College of Humanities and the Arts do not seem to understand our classes, or outright ignore requirements at the expense of rejecting students even with proof in a transcript.  Or even worse, they have ignored requests and just never respond.
  • Recently, we have a new dean of the college, and she has insisted on not listening to any of our complaints.  When one of our program heads tried to call a meeting to discuss issues, she replied “I have already spent enough time on Animation/Illustration”.
  • Also, with only being a program, our department heads DO NOT get to attend meetings where our problems are heard.  Instead, we have to go through another person representing us in Radio-Television-Film who, while they make an effort, do NOT understand firsthand our needs.  

Even if you are not attending SJSU, or not even a student, I hope you have read the reasons stated and sign the petition.  Every signature helps our cause to look forward to a better future for our students and faculty.

In closing, all we ask is that we are treated fairly and allowed enough resources to be given to us so that we can successfully enjoy the education that we have paid thousands of dollars for.  All we ask is for a voice.  

WE WANT TO BE HEARD.

This is basically the gist of what’s going on in my program right now. The only reason our program has survived thus far is because of our amazing faculty members and the sacrifices they make to accomodate students. Please help make their lives easier, and ours as well if you haven’t signed this petition yet.