The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

OPINION: Art students deserve better

OPINION%3A+Art+students+deserve+better
Kaitlyn Close

It is always the art kids. First, in 2022, an art sculpture at Wey Hall was vandalized after a football game. Now, students are being forced to sit through construction noises during class, move heavy projects across campus and have class in old dorm rooms with limited space. 

Instead of the university handling the issue and providing compensation for art students impacted by the construction, students had to take matters into their own hands and create a petition for tuition reimbursement. The lack of space and access to materials that comes with moving students out of Wey Hall is having an impact on students’ college experiences and their ability to create art. 

Art students have nowhere else to go but the under-lit hallways of East, and they deserve to be compensated for this change they were unprepared for. In addition to East Hall being cramped quarters and poorly lit, the building also does not have air conditioning, which can make having class there in the summer unbearable for some students. Nobody wants to sit in a room and try to be creative while they are hot and sweaty, especially in a small space. 

The fact that these classes are moved to East Hall is also an issue of accessibility. The building has no elevator, making it impossible for disabled students to access the building. These students could not have their art class in East even if they wanted to, since no part of the building is handicap accessible. 

There is also no telling how many students are going to be affected by this or how long it will go on for. The university claims the aim is to complete the second and third floor in December 2024, and the first floor in May 2025. This is still far out, and it is not fair to expect art students to put up with something like this for that long. 

If students do continue to stay in Wey Hall instead, they face concerns about the state of the drinking water, construction noises and inconsistent ventilation. It is absolutely necessary that people feel comfortable and confident with the drinking water in their main academic building and the fact that this is not the case in Wey is unacceptable.

Why does the university not care about art students the way that they care for athletics? In 2022, App State spent $38.57 million in athletics operating expenses. The current project to renovate Wey Hall was supposed to take place around five years ago with a budget of $2 million, but the university decided to wait. Although the project now has a budget of $17 million, it is still not enough. If App State is spending close to $39 million on athletics each year, certainly more money can be budgeted to the Department of Art. 

View Comments (3)
Donate to The Appalachian
$1151
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

About the Contributors
El Shedrick, Opinion Writer
El Shedrick (they/them) is a junior psychology major from Cary NC. This is their second year writing for The Appalachian.
Kaitlyn Close, Graphics Editor
Kaitlyn Close (she/her) is a senior Graphic Design major and Digital Marketing minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Donate to The Appalachian
$1151
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (3)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    Connery MartinNov 28, 2023 at 11:33 am

    How much money is the art department bringing in? Athletics brings in millions.

    Reply
    • M

      MuChaoDec 1, 2023 at 12:52 pm

      Stop. This is straight-up lie.

      The Athletics program *loses* over $20 million Every. Single. Year. The only reason that Athletics even breaks even is because students are forced to pay over $1000/student/year to *subsidize* the financial losses and pay off existing debt from Athletics. The university and taxpayers further subsidize some of the costs of operations. So no, Athletics does not “bring in millions” it *loses* millions of dollars every year.

      The vast majority of college athletics programs lose money, AppState is no different. Please, do yourself and others a favor by doing some basic research next time before you start spouting off such falsehoods.

      Reply
  • S

    Steve Hageman, Prof. GeologyNov 28, 2023 at 7:08 am

    You tell them El! I was in East hall to visit some geology adjunct faculty at their office and I was APPALLED to see the conditions of the the Art “class rooms”. For what little it is worth, I shared this with my own faculty at the time. Good luck with your just cause.

    Reply