Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

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The Globe’s Point – Hey Point Park, we need to talk

Written By Editorial Board

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As a student media publication, we can appreciate how hard it is to manage a group of people and accomplish things on a regular basis. There are constantly moving parts and subgroups all vying for that priority spot.

That said, when the primary functions of a department are called into question, it’s best to self-evaluate and maybe evoke one of those fun communication mnemonics taught in leadership seminars or something.

Here’s what we’re talking about – an incident occurred Thursday wherein a convicted sex offender was arrested after watching a dance class from the hallway outside of a studio. How did students learn about it? Local television and reports online – not the PointAlert system or an e-mail from Public Safety.

Last year, there was a stabbing incident at the Wood Street T station that students weren’t made aware of – but what is more troubling about Thursday’s incident is that it occurred outside Lawrence Hall – arguably the busiest and most-populated place on campus.

Additionally, the university, by means of a subcontractor, has scaled back the hours of desk attendants – including entirely eliminating the Student Center desk attendant position after a new, massive desk had been installed. Lawrence Hall’s desk is unmanned while the doors are open to the public from 7 a.m. through 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Another department, Conference and Events services, has consistently confused student media organizations by changing the procedures for reserving spaces on campus – especially within the Center for Media Innovation (CMI).

For example, the WPPJ interest meeting request was originally denied because CES determined it needed more than 24 hours to move the pivot wall for a Thursday evening event. Eventually, when brought to the attention of the Dean of Students, this was resolved. But it shouldn’t take the dean’s intervention to fix this.

The University Center and CMI television studios aren’t managed in the same way by the same team. To schedule the CMI, one schedules through CES’ link after navigating odd panels on PointWeb. To schedule the UC, you contact the studio technicians.

When the Globe went to reserve studio time on Labor Day to shoot a video segment of our “Pioneer Public” series, we were approved by CES using the CMI point person. However, when we attempted to gain access to the space, Public Safety informed us that we “weren’t on the schedule.” We were granted access from the outside door, but the inside control room doors were locked. We called Public Safety twice, our final call was dropped by dispatch.

After looking into this matter, we found that miscommunications with Public Safety as well as calls being dropped by dispatch are more common than should be acceptable.

In the statement of values on the university website, we feel two things need improvement: “Focusing on student needs” and “responding to our stakeholders.”

We feel most of these gripes could be easily solved with some good old fashioned communication and a focus on the student.

Don’t get us wrong – we value the education and strives these departments make on a daily basis. However, the mere fact that we’re questioning whether or not university departments are taking us (and our safety) seriously is troubling.

These frustrations are not just our frustrations here at the Globe. These problems stretch campus-wide. Let’s do what we do best as opinionated college students — have a conversation.

Updated Sept. 13, 2017 at 1:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly noted that registered sex offender Dalbert Banks was watching the dance class from a window. Banks was standing outside of the elevator in the George Rowland White performance space on campus, not on the sidewalk outside the studio on the Boulevard of the Allies.

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