A room of one’s own: VPS is on the search

Stephee Bonafacio & Leah Boynton

The Video Production Studios (VPS) is currently working out of two spaces: a space in the library across from the Center for Academic Advising and Success (CAAS), and a space in Wardman Hall. 

According to Senior Executive Production Manager Luis Manzo, VPS must be moved into a still undetermined location before the spring semester begins. 

A committee of professors and students are searching for a permanent space including Dean of Students Joel Pérez, Assistant Director of LEAP Debbie Allison, Manzo, and Junior Executive Production Manager Francesca Capraro. 

Currently, Disability Services is using the VPS space underneath the library to allow students with disabilities to take tests outside of usual class time: outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. per an agreement between Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Darrin Good and the VPS staff. 

In regards to the situation and when VPS will obtain an official new office space, Good declined to comment.

“We worked with Darrin Good about Platner basement for storage space. Right now we are working out of Wardman temporarily; we are still working on a permanent space. We are kind of feeling the pressure to get out because of the Jan-term deadline coming up,” Manzo said. 

The VPS managers do not have a key to the Wardman space, and therefore wait for the Whittier Scholars Program, Philosophy, and Economics Administrative Assistant Lia Kozatch to unlock and relock the space every day. 

However, according to Manzo, the space is not ideal for large equipment because of its size.Therefore, the majority of operating has to wait until after 3:30 p.m., when the staff is allowed back into their former office.

According to several VPS staff members, several work study students have also experienced an extreme reduction in their amount of hours of work because positions are limited by the open hours of VPS underneath the library. “Work opportunities being reduced from daily office hours to strictly working on projects has been really limiting for me when it comes to completing my work study,” said sophomore Delany Buccellato. “I am being forced to look elsewhere for another work study job for next semester.” 

Although the semester has proved difficult for the staff, Manzo said this relocation is not affecting their Spring semester plans. “Everything is still definitely happening. We are going to push forward. We are hoping for a much smoother and more productive Spring semester,” he said. 

VPS will be hosting a Spanish film festival throughout the Spring semester in collaboration with the Modern Languages Department and the Whittier Scholars Program (WSP) in addition toworking with student organizations as usual.

The new Director of Disability Services, Stephanie Smolinski, said that proctoring tests will be particularly important in the upcoming week because of finals testing. “Disability services has not had a designated accessible space on campus to proctor tests for more than one student at a time,” Smolinski said. “That has presented an issue because, during final exams, as many as 20 students at a time are taking an exam, and during the course it tends to be 6-8 students at a time needing space. It’s been difficult to find that space for students.” 

Smolinski said that she is aware of the displacement of VPS. “I feel bad about that. I think there has been an attempt to make as attractive a compromise as possible,  but the reality is there is limited space on campus,” said Smolinski. “It’s definitely not that we don’t value VPS; we do, and we wish there was some way for everyone to be happy.” 

Throughout January,w VPS will continue to search for a permanent space and move their equipment out of the space underneath the library into Platner basement and Wardman Hall. The Quaker Campus will continue to report on this as changes occur.