There were many efforts to improve the UofM Journalism department over the last few semesters. Some Spring cleanings, new paint jobs and decluttering helped keep the department looking sharp. The department was also reaccredited, renewing the status they have held since 1971.
What may not be obvious is that these efforts are self-driven through members of the department. Professors and students relied on their own efforts to keep the Meeman Journalism Building updated and the department current. It was not much different with their next task, raising money for the student equipment fund.
What funds were raised?
Over four thousand dollars were received from a combined 62 donors. Professors, current students, previous students, anonymous sources, graduate and undergraduate students chipped in to rack up the grand total of 4k. Dr. Matt Haught, associate professor and assistant chair of the Memphis Journalism department, was one of the many who contributed to the fund.
“I’m grateful for all of our donors on this project,” Haught said. “Because of your gifts, we’re able to up our game with more and better equipment. As our field is so technology-driven, we have to invest in our gear every year. This campaign has helped us to make big strides this year.”
What do the funds support?
For several years, the Journalism department has given their undergraduates assignments that will put them out in the world. These homework and class assignments are given so they can practice what they may actually be doing after they get their degrees. Having tasks and challenges like these may require equipment that poor college students can’t fit into their budget. So the department has allowed students to borrow equipment ranging from cameras, tripods, microphones, camera lenses and lights. The department‘s equipment was somewhat outdated and wore down from having hundreds of students use it. Now with the new funds, those students can use equipment without worrying about the quality of it.
After efforts on social media and word-of-mouth, the department did it themselves through their own work. Students in the future will now get to utilize the shiny new equipment brought in with those funds. Months of campaigning and semesters of needing it, a few hundred students and dozens of faculty can now have access to newer equipment.