Lack of facilities hurt departments

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It is no surprise that the lack of facilities on Pacific University’s campus has affected countless students, faculty and areas of study. The increase in students has been rising continuously for the past few years and the university does not seem to adjust the academic facilities to accommodate the increase in 
These issues do not discriminate across the disciplines, as a number of programs on campus are directly affected by the lack of adequate 
facilitates. Some of the programs that suffer are the sciences, theater and 
music programs. 
“When it rains heavily, it is not unusual for Murdock to have water leaking in behind our teaching labs where we have major equipment,” chemistry professor Jeannine Chan said. Chan said the building is old and has uneven floors. There are also energy insufficiencies and there is not enough space to offer even one more section of organic chemistry. “Our ability to have a lab component in a non-majors course is very difficult due to facility issues,” 
Chan said.“ So that would be an example of a lack of facilities hindering the kinds of experiences that can be offered in certain types of courses.” Some upper-division lab courses are taught in the winter term only and Chan said if those courses were to be offered during the regular semester, the current facilities would not accommodate the students. The theater and dance department is no stranger to facility issues due to their outdated building. According to the director of theater Ellen Margolis, the old building affects their ability to recruit students to be a part of the department. “Our faculty and staff are as good as any in Oregon, but when prospective students visit campus, they [and their parents] are put off by our aging facilities,” Margolis said. “Sometimes they can’t see past that to the really excellent programs we offer.”
The music program also suffers because they do not have adequate space for their students, instruments and faculty, according to director of bands Michael Burch-Pesses. “The music department is a victim of its own success,” Burch-Pesses said. “We have recruited very effectively and we now have the largest ensembles and the most music majors in the university’s history.” The music program has outgrown their facilities, which has led to music being stored in three separate building and rehearsal rooms have had to be converted into storage. “We need to purchase more music stands, but we have no place to put them,” Burch-Pesses said. The lack of facilities on campus is a downfall for the academic value of Pacific. “I believe it’s important to note that the music department has recruited assiduously, resulting in the strongest and largest music program the university has ever enjoyed,” Burch-Pesses said. “However, continuing to grow in these cramped quarters will result in an intractable teaching situation and highly dissatisfied students.”

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