Video Production Studios fight a turf war to re-claim their territory ... again

Stephee Bonifacio

Just when they’ve finally found their mojo, Video Production Studios (VPS) is targeted in a fight for their space located under the library across from the Center for Academic Advising and Success (CAAS).

According to Executive Production Manager senior Luis Manzo, VPS heard from an anonymous faculty member that CAAS and Disability Services may be interested in taking VPS’s office space and relocating VPS to the second floor of Wardman Hall. 

“We focus on student films as well as making promotional videos for organizations on campus. I’ve been with them since my freshman year,” Manzo said. “My first few years were kind of stagnant, but since last year, we have been rising and have been much more productive.”

This is not the first time VPS’s space has been targeted. “This is the third year in a row that a department on campus has tried to take our space,” Manzo said. “Last year, it was DigLibArts, and that happened around the same time it is happening this year. That was something we were luckily able to ward off.”

After multiple meetings with DigLibArts, the VPS staff argued that it wasn’t a logical space for their department because they wanted to use it as a classroom space. “We argued that the room is not suitable to use as a classroom because of the alcoves and the amount of equipment we have in there,” Manzo said.

After spending a majority of the 2015 Fall semester fighting for their space, VPS was able to keep their office with the help of the Dean of Students Office. “It sucks because we have been doing so much more now. It’s our space. It’s a space for students,” Manzo said.

The VPS staff has grown frustrated with the time and energy they have invested to save their studio in the past. “This year, all I know is that CAAS wants our space,” Manzo said. “I’m not sure why. I talked to our advisor and hopefully we will look into it. I expect there to be conversation about it with us directly in the future because if not, that would be really messed up.”

So far, there has not been communication between VPS and CAAS in regards to the VPS Office. Dean of Faculty Darrin Good spoke with Manzo on Tuesday, Sept. 4 and informed him that the rumors were in fact true: a department on campus would like to use the VPS space and relocate them to the second floor of Wardman Hall. He did not state that CAAS was the department in question. Dean Good told the organization that he hopes to work with them during this negotiation process.

“It’s been our space for almost ten years and I feel like once administration swoops in and takes VPS’s space, then what is stopping them from taking other organizations’ spaces?” Manzo questioned. “I think if they let this happen, then that is saying any department or administration can take any group’s spaces whenever they want.”

According to Assistant Dean of Academic Support and Director of CAAS Andrea Villegas, CAAS isn’t interested in taking the space and has only heard rumors from students that the space was under debate.

As the situation transpires, the group anxiously waits to hear from Dean Good if their studio will be taken from them. The Quaker Campus will continue to investigate as this story evolves.