This past February, Fairfield University made the decision to relocate the Media Center, formerly in Xavier Hall underneath the Fairfield College Preparatory School, to the Conference Center at Fairfield University. Unfortunately, COVID-19 hit shortly thereafter, and the production and building of the Media Center came to a halt. This past week, two interviews were conducted in order to get more information about the new Media Center. One was with a professor of the journalism department and advisor of The Mirror, Matt Tullis, and the other was with Professor Karla Barguiarena of the communication department. After my interview with Tullis, it was learned that the primary reason for the relocation of the Media Center was because more space was needed for it. The University chose the Conference Center, also known as the old Dolan School of Business, as the Media Center’s new home since it provided the most readily available and untapped space on campus. Luckily, professors of the various departments who will be using the Media Center were able to inform the University about what equipment they would need or want.
Unlike the University’s previous Media Center, many departments will have access to this one, including digital journalism, communications and film, television and media. The Media Center will have multiple uses, as it will not only be used academically but also professionally by the University. In regards to all of these departments who will have access to the Media Center, Tullis said, “When we’re all here, we’ll all be working together…we all do the same thing, but for different purposes – to work together.”
While the Media Center is still under construction, it has made great strides towards being completed. The Media Center will have many new pieces of equipment that will be together in one space. This will be convenient for both the professors and students who have use and access to the center.
“The main purpose of the Media Center will be for the creation of media,” said Tullis. Unlike recent years when journalism and film classes had to be taught in a traditional classroom setting, students will now have a much more hands-on experience.
For the first time ever, Fairfield University is offering a broadcasting communication course. Professor Barguiarena is teaching the course, and was originally supposed to teach it in the Media Center.
Since broadcasting communication will be more journalism centered, Barguiarena is happy to teach in a traditional classroom, as she is able to fit more students in there than she would have been able to if it were in the Media Center. With that being said, Barguiarena is hoping that as the semester progresses she will be able to visit the Media Center with her class, while following the social distancing protocols.
As of right now, there is no set date on when the Media Center will be fully operational and open to students. However, there are some classes that are currently being conducted there. Hopefully, as soon as everything starts to get better with COVID-19, the Media Center will be fully operational and more students will be seen there.