The Cinematic Arts department hosted a “Listening Session” for IFDM students this week. Although at first I didn’t quite understand how the dynamic of the event would play out, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Initially, I thought it was one of those “drop in whenever you’d like, take off whenever” kind of events, and was not able to plan to make it through the full 2 hours. I was a bit bummed to miss out on the first part of the discussion, but thankfully some of my fellow classmates (shoutout to Carrie!) were able to fill me in on the major points I missed.

I must say I am very happy with the department to take this initiative. The IFDM program has some administrative issues to deal with, and I think it’s great that they’re willing to reach out to students to think of solutions! Many of us share the same concerns, and so it also feels comforting to realize you’re not alone. This was also a wonderful time for “underrepresented groups” within the program to speak up about issues which the department was completely unaware of. There are very few CS people like me on the program, and sometimes we don’t have enough resources to find specific help related to IFDM. This event was probably just what we needed!

The great part is that the environment felt particularly positive. Students were able to speak their minds, and receive useful feedback from faculty, staff, and peers alike! We were all so focused on the discussion that new questions were still arising even after we had gone over the allotted time for the event.

Due to the success, the department decided to settle future one-on-one “office hours” for students to continue to voice their comments and concerns. I am happy with this new direction, and I hope our ideas can continually help make the IFDM program the best it can be for the students!

Oh and here’s a picture of some cute ducks napping by the CERIA building. They were still there when I left the meeting today!