Last year the staff consisted of 3 faculty members and of those 3 only Ramona Broomer remains this year. In a department very dependent on teamwork, Theatre majors note that you cannot ‘teach theatre with only 1 professor.’
Gavin D’Ulisse, a senior Theatre and Criminal Justice major feels Broomer is under ‘tremendous strain’ in an effort to balance so many different duties. He states that currently she is balancing the duties of professor, club advisor, co-director, costume designer, shop coordinator and student advisor.
“She is responsible for three to five courses and was advised to move a Major requirement course to the Spring semester due to understaffing. I can’t imagine the burden she is carrying for the students. Not only is our course availability being hindered, but what staff we do have is being [grossly] over worked,” D’Ulisse said.
Samantha Witkowski, a junior Theatre major, and D’Ulisse both feel their learning experience is suffering. Witkowski noted she was only able to take two of her required classes which is putting her behind. With these changes, it seems almost impossible for theatre majors to graduate on time and many theatre majors feel this is a real concern lately.
With the cutting of full-time faculty, Chelsea Smith, a now senior Education major, had noted that “It’s looking like we’re going to have to student run everything. We’re going to be self-taught basically.” This seems to be the case this year.
The department’s main stage play is not being directed by Broomer, rather it is being co-directed by her. Christopher Rex is the qualified student directing it. D’Ulisse feels this decision will not hinder the quality of the show but it is not a responsibility a student should be forced to undertake. He asks, “what is our tuition for if we’re expected to teach ourselves?”
Witkowski states, “the school does have funding issues. But in the long run, we the students pay for our education. Therefore I would expect that every penny I pay to the school for tuition would go toward my major, making sure that myself and all the other theatre majors get the education we need, with the faculty positions that are required to get it.”
Faculty declined to say anything on the topic but problems in the theatre department seem to be going from bad to worse.