Fine Arts Instructional Facility Approved for Construction

From the Campus Lantern: May 2, 2013

On the week of April 8th, 2013, the Fine Arts Department at Eastern Connecticut State University acquired the funding to build the new Fine Arts Instructional Facility. Construction will begin during the Summer of 2013 with the ground breaking of the student center parking lot.

According to Music at Eastern’s monthly newsletter, in their first issue for the 2013-2014 year, the new facility features up-to-date facilities including a recital hall, soundproof practice rooms, teaching studios, and other public facilities for students, performing arts and music majors, and faculty. The fifth issue, released in early April, confirms the building’s approval for construction, providing a projected finished date.

“The Department of Performing Arts (Music and Theater) as well as the Department of Visual Arts will move into their new home in the center of campus in time for the start of the Fall 2015 semester,” Reads the newsletter’s fifth issue opener.

Sketches of the new building, from the Music at Eastern Facebook page show that the finished product houses two major entrances; one on High Street, and the other next to the Student Center. By replacing the Student Center parking lot, the building centralizes the performing arts onto the main campus to increase their presence on campus.

Later sketches, added to the Music at Eastern Facebook on April 12th show further what the building looks. While the previous sketches, showed what the entrances looked like, the latest batch focuses on the entrance from High Street, highlighting the lobby and a portion of the auditorium.

Students and faculty look forward to the new Fine Arts Instructional Facility for the new opportunities it offers.

Renae St. John, a student at Eastern Connecticut State University, explains that the new performing arts center is a necessity to move forward alongside the trends in drama and music.

“Shafer is outdated and in order for the Performing Arts department to truly grow it needs up to date equipment: sophisticated light and sound systems as well as musical instruments, actual soundproof practice rooms, and other technologies that were once unavailable to students,” Renae St. John said.

Dr. Jeff Calissi, Chair of the Performing Arts Department’s music program, eagerly anticipates the construction of the building.

“The building will house expanded room size in a state of the art facility, which will have a profound effect on the instruction and creation of music. We anxiously await the time when we are able to capitalize on such limitless possibilities,” Dr. Calissi said.

Whether for the further recognition of the arts on campus or for the expanded opportunities for students and faculty alike, the new Fine Arts Instructional Facility will place the arts “center stage” on the main campus.

Doctor Who Returns with “Bells of St. John”

From the Campus Lantern: April 4, 2013

Saturday, March 30th marked the return of Doctor Who on BBC America for the second half of Season 7. Opening with “The Bells of St. John”, by Head Writer, Steven Moffatt, it continues with the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) search for the mysterious Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna Lousie-Coleman). With how Moffatt and the producers, split the season up into two with the Christmas Special running through halfway, it feels like a new season altogether. This makes sense, considering we lost Amy Pond and Rory Williams (Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvill) in the first half, I wondered whether or not the beginning arc of Clara would remain consistent with the season’s theme from the first, half, with none of the Doctor’s villains remembering who he is.

I also wondered if her mysterious background, appearing in both “Asylum of the Daleks” (aired September 1, 2012), as a computer genius, and “The Snowmen” (aired December 25, 2012), as a Victorian governess, would completely transfer into “Bells of Saint John”. By this, I am asking if the Clara Oswald of the new episode remembers the Doctor in full. Just minutes into the episode before the main plot forces itself into the episode, I got the impression that this Clara was the same as the ones from before. After all, the Doctor never uses the phone on his spaceship, the TARDIS which looks like an ordinary phone-booth painted dark blue.

However, I was quite pleased that this was the only thing that put this question into speculation since, after the Doctor lands at the 2013 Clara’s house, she has no clue about the extraterrestrial and seldom has any ideas about advanced technology. It makes her official debut as his third companion fresh regardless of how many times the Doctor saw her before. In this case, with the large gap between “Asylum of the Daleks” and “The Snowmen” leading into April, splitting the season into two halves was a good move. This makes Clara’s third appearance along with her existing character traits less redundant.

In regards to the main plot, where selecting a certain Wifi hotspot uploads the user to a large database, the intrigue into who is behind in fades nearly thirty minutes in when the culprits are revealed. While the direction by Colm McCarthy kept me hooked on the episode, especially when the Doctor and Clara ride across London on a motorcycle, I felt that Moffat rushed out the antagonists too quickly. The Spoonhead robots they send out for the uploads are not the Silence of Season 6 nor the Weeping Angels that gave an eerie ambiance to ordinary places. The viewer already knows before the titles that clicking on a certain hotspot ensures a character’s “up-load”, unlike the “Don’t Blink” in Season 3’s “Blink” where Moffat only hints about the Weeping Angels until the second half.

While the main plot seems rushed, the character development between the Doctor and Clara makes up for the episodes shortcomings. It may not be Moffat’s best work, but I am still looking forward to figuring out the mysteries of Clara Oswald as she travels with the Doctor.