Students to pay for stands

Music students will have to bring in their own stands to practices and recitals, at least temporarily, according to the music department.

Partly due to several music stands that went missing during Spring Break, the music department is forcing students to purchase their own stands until a resolution can be found.

Suzanne Hickman, associate professor of music, spoke to students about the issue at a meeting March 22. She explained that the issue was not a sudden backlash against students, but rather the result of years of music stands disappearing and being found randomly throughout the building, including in hallways and stairwells.

Professors and ensemble directors have discussed the issue previously, and, for the time being at least, accepted the new policy as a solution. Hickman pointed out that many other colleges and conservatories abide by the same policy.

“What we came up with over three years was that students should have their own stands anyway,” Hickman said, equating the purchase of a music stand with buying a textbook.

Students, however, saw the stands as a form of school-issued equipment, like desks or microscopes.

Also of concern to many students was the limited communication between faculty and students before decreeing that the stands should be taken away. Students felt that they had been forced to purchase new stands without being first given a chance to discuss the issue.

“Even though we’re all upset about the stands, we’re really upset about the lack of communication,” Shannon O’Connor, sophomore music education major, said.

One issue students raised was that a department-wide e-mail to music majors came across as accusing students of stealing the stands. Hickman acknowledged the mistake and said she was glad that students organized and came forward to deal with the issue.

“No one said that this stand policy was permanent. I’m glad that we’re looking for solutions,” Hickman said.

Roger McKinney, associate professor of music, agreed with the sentiment, and noted that students aren’t the only ones who need stands.

“I’m just as inconvenienced as you are,” McKinney said.

Students offered to be part of the solution, and help deal with the problem by cleaning up when they find stands in the hallway and helping keep track of stands that move from classroom to classroom. McKinney agreed that students should be a part of the solution.

“This is the bottom line,” he said. “We want to have this luxury, let’s play ball.”