Disappointment as JDH media lab delays continue

    St. Thomas University Journalism Lab, currently located at James Dull Hall. (Daniel Salas/AQ)

    St. Thomas University will not get the on-campus digital classroom it had promised students for January 2023 due to delays in the supply chain, according to STU’s associate vice president of communications. 

    After STU ended its lease with the CBC on Dec. 31, the university promised to build a digital media lab that would replace what the CBC classrooms had and would have its own equipment for digital production. 

    Jeffrey Carleton said the project was initially set for September 2022 but due to delays, it was postponed.

    “We’re disappointed it’s not ready to start the semester,” said Carleton.

    He said parts of the project are complete, such as the painting on the walls and the installation of new flooring, but the university could not start installations of computers and equipment because it is waiting on materials to arrive. 

    Carleton said students still have access to other resources like the media lab and equipment room in Margaret McCain Hall. 

    However, he said the media lab in James Dunn Hall will provide better resources for students once it’s completed.

    “The greater flexibility we’re going to have for journalism and communication students using the new equipment, but also in their own space on campus, will be advantageous,” said Carleton.

    Mark Tunney, a journalism professor at STU, said the lab would have been great for his course on radio and podcasting. 

    He said it was disappointing that the lab wasn’t finished by the start of the second semester.

    “We’re not trying to do stuff in a classroom with poor acoustics and stuff like that,” said Tunney.

    Still, Tunney said he and the students will adapt to what they have at their disposal, noting that if students were able to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, they will be able to learn in his classes — even without the media lab.

    “Whatever presents itself, you deal with what’s there and you figure it out and you get it done,” he said.

    With files from Giuliana Grillo de Lambarri