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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Mitchell Center students should be included in library decisions

The sign for the Calvin T. Ryan Library appears faded.

Last week, a meeting was held about the Calvin T. Ryan Library renovation to gain feedback. Learning Commons representatives, library staff members, grad students and select faculty members were invited to listen and share their opinions. 

But the invitation to the communication students must have gotten lost in the mail. 

As the library renovation moves forward, the communication students of the Mitchell Center want our voices to be heard and considered.

On the south side of the library lies the Mitchell Center, always buzzing with lectures, laughter, collaborating students, radio announcers, practicing speakers, fast-paced footsteps and clicking mouses. It houses computer labs, professors’ offices, classrooms, the 91.1 KLPR radio station, a video studio, the UNK Forensics Team, AdPR club, the communication honors society, Film Club, the Antelope News show and the Antelope newsroom. 

All of this — the success of our programs, the communication path and the community within our department — will be in jeopardy if the library renovation proceeds without the communication students’ perspective. 

Our video studio was finished two years ago. The computer labs contain all of our projects and applications we need to learn. Fines from the FCC will follow if the radio station is off the air for more than two days. The Antelope staff members need the newsroom to collaborate on projects. 

The UNK Department of Communication cannot be put on hold for machines to rip out our workspace during the school year. 

It’s no wonder our invitation got lost in the mail because nobody knows where we are. 

The Mitchell Center has no proper exterior signage, and we are not even included on the UNK map. When UNK Communications released the renovation plans in July, they referred to the Mitchell Center entrance as the library’s “west entrance.” 

The home of the communication students was ignored then, and it is being ignored now.

Even though the Mitchell Center is attached to the library, the communication students will not be shushed when advocating for their department.

The Mitchell Center students make their presence known using social media, websites and YouTube. We make our presence known in the radio waves and on the newspaper racks in every building on campus. We make our presence known by racking up awards each year to represent our university and professors.

So why are we being ignored?

The communication faculty were emailed a survey asking for feedback. Meanwhile, the communication students are biting our nails and pacing in this uncertainty.

Thankfully, the lack of an invitation can be remedied easily. The good thing is that the library renovation is in its earliest stages, so it is not too late to ask the communication students what we think. But the anticipated completion date of July 2024 is not as far as it seems.

Let it be clear that we support the library renovation project. The library is in desperate need of updating, so it can appeal to incoming students with a more modern look. The Antelope looks forward to merging with students in the library and fostering an interactive community.

Before the renovation moves forward, the Antelope editors would like to extend an invitation to the renovation officials for a tour of our department. Seriously, come and see what it is that we do. We would willingly show you why our department and this renovation matter. 

Please email to schedule a time for a student-led tour. 

The Antelope takes pride in representing our great university, but this pride is not always reciprocated. As communication students, we spend our entire college careers advocating for UNK. 

In return, it would be nice to be advocated for as well.

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