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MU Home » Academics » School of Public Affairs » Department of Communication

Our Philosophy Regarding TV/Multimedia Projects

Our communications faculty have all come from professional backgrounds and enforce professional standards. We feel that our students should be treated like professionals and given appropriate responsibilities. Students in our communications courses are encouraged to approach their classwork the same way an independent producer would approach a contract. Students are allowed and encouraged to choose their own project ideas and develop them to suit their needs. Our hope is that our students will find their own creative voices and develop the confidence necessary to approach the job market effectively and with a strong portfolio of professional level work.

Creative and Academic Freedom
We believe in freedom of expression. With freedom comes responsibility, however. Students are allowed to choose the projects they wish to work on and may produce anything they want to within reason. The only restrictions we maintain are that all projects must be legal, professional, and appropriate to an academic setting. We do not allow hate speech, pornography, or projects that appear to be deliberately offensive. Other than this, we do not restrict students' political views, religious freedom, or any other philosophies.

Copyright Laws
Students are required to respect copyright laws when producing their work. This is to say that all student work must be original. If a particular project uses or relies on elements that are the intellectual property of somebody else, this work must be used with permission. If appropriate permission has not been obtained, the work can not be posted on our websites or submitted for public display in any way. This restriction does not apply to creative commons or public domain properties. Students are also strongly encouraged to register for copyright protection for their own work at all times.

Our Facilities
We build and maintain our own facilities for shooting and editing video projects. To this end we insist on state-of-the-art equipment whenever possible and complete access to students at all times. Students may sign out field equipment at any time it is not in use and may keep it for any reasonable period of time. Students are encouraged to use the equipment as long as they need it so long as they are responsible for its safe return for other student's use. Likewise, our editing facilities include two state-of-the-art workstations that are available 24 hours a day. We do not restrict access to our facilities to students for any reason so long as the students do not abuse this privalege. This has been a philosphy of the department for over 15 years and we have never had a reason to question it.

Group Projects
Students working on video projects are expected to work in teams just as it is done in the professional world. Working professionals in the video field have specialties and honed skills, each of which is essential for the success of the production team. These skills and specialties begin here. Communication students sample a number of different roles in the production of video projects and become aware of their own strengths as well as how to recognize those of others. The end result is a greater understanding of leadership and teamwork as well as proper appreciation of responsibility.

Web Projects
The world wide web is the greatest tool for free expression ever to exist in the civilized world. For the first time in history everybody has a potential voice that can reach a truly global audience. Students in our web page design classes are free to create content of their own choosing and to publish it on the Internet. Students are given complete creative control of their server space and full responsibility for what they create. Students may not violate laws through their server space and may not publish anything indecent, but their personal freedom of speech is respected. Many students choose to maintain their sites after the conclusion of the class and some of them have attracted loyal followings.


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