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Petition Title:

Don't Rename CIAS to CAD

Petition Description:

<p><span>Recently, it was announced that RIT will be changing the names of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS) and the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) to the College of Art and Design (CAD) and the College of Engineering Technology (CET), respectively. While I cannot speak for the interests of students in CAST, as the current CIAS Senator, I feel it is important to bring several concerns of my constituency to the table. </span></p><p><b><br></b></p><p><span>First and foremost, this decision was made behind closed doors. Seeing as it is Student Government’s duty to be the voice of students among administrators and that RIT prides itself on being a “student run” campus, I find it highly inappropriate that these conversations and subsequent decisions were made without the input of student stakeholders outside of SG, as well as SG members such as myself, CAST Senator Corinne Mendieta, President Farid Barquet, and Vice President Bobby Moakley. </span></p><p><b><br></b></p><p><span>Second, the reasoning for the change from CIAS to CAD is highly concerning. In the email sent out, it is stated that this change is being made </span><span>“to more accurately reflect the collection of programs that they contain and to provide a sharper focus to their future”. If the intent behind this statement is genuine, I feel this decision is highly uneducated. I may be wrong, but in the position I was put in, I can only speculate. For outsiders looking in, the School of Art and the School of Design only make up two of CIAS’s six total schools that explore so much more than just art and design. We also have the School for American Crafts, the School of Film and Animation, the School of Photographic Arts &amp; Sciences, and the School of Media Sciences.</span></p><p><b><br></b></p><p><span>Looking at the makeup of CIAS’s schools and degree programs, Motion Picture <strong>Science</strong>, Media Arts and Technology (under the school of Media <strong>Sciences</strong>), Photographic <strong>Sciences</strong>, and several other programs offer Bachelor of Science (BS) or Master of Science (MS) degrees, not Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Imagine that you yourself are a prospective student. Would the College of Art and Design be the first place you might look for a program such as Imaging and Photographic Technology or Biomedical Photographic Communications? </span></p><p><b><br></b></p><p><span>The second part of the statement explaining the change was that the name College of Art and Design would “provide a sharper focus” for the future of CIAS. When I came to RIT, I was looking for a place where I would be encouraged to participate in interdisciplinary study. I loved that I was able to take math classes and computer science classes, despite being a Film and Animation major. Despite being an outgoing graduate, it concerns me that the future of CIAS aims to push students more towards art and design, pigeonholing their interdisciplinary interests instead of encouraging their growth as a well-rounded human being.</span></p><p><b><br></b></p><p><span>In conclusion, the uproars I have heard from fellow CIAS students should serve as a lesson that decisions like these cannot be taken lightly, and that all stakeholders should always be involved. With these changes, CIAS will undoubtedly move even further away from the RIT community, and BS and MS programs are sure to suffer as well.</span></p><p><b><br></b></p><p><span>TL;DR</span></p><p></p><p><span>CIAS is becoming CAD, but no students were involved in this discussion. The new name is misrepresentative of the degrees offered by CIAS, and Dr. Munson’s vision for the future of CIAS appears to be limiting its interdisciplinary connection to the rest of RIT.</span></p><p><span><br></span></p>