MAP: Is the name-change a good thing?

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Author: Hannah Grover | Arts and Culture Editor

MAP

Word is, the geography department is pissed. [Photo – Brett Nielsen]

The Dean of Fine – I mean, M.A.P. comments

The Media, Art, and Performance (M.A.P.) department, formally known as the Fine Arts department, is changing its image a bit along with its name. The new name took the University, and even the most unobservant of students, by surprise. The Dean of M.A.P., Dr. Rae Staseson, spoke with the Carillon about the recent change, and she couldn’t be more thrilled about the future of the department.

“We workshopped the name and image quite extensively,” she said. “[We] had such great support and feedback, and it energized us even more.”

But what most students are wondering is why now? What was the motivation behind the change and rebranding of the department?

Dr. Stasesson commented, “We wanted to move from a dated name that has lots of baggage (ivory tower, exclusive, or not very rigorous, etc.). Media, Art, and Performance better reflects what we do, the kinds of teaching and research that is undertaken in the faculty. It is more meaningful to a younger demographic, and we hope it helps with recruitment of students.”

The University of Regina could use some remodeling and modernization; occasionally it seems that little has changed since 1962. Perhaps a new name for the M.A.P. department is something we need.

Staseson says, “We are very interdisciplinary, and many of our artists and scholars (both faculty and students) move across disciplines or work in between disciplines. Technology media informs so much of what we do now, and we need to reflect that in our image and name. We are very excited. The degrees such as BFA, or MFA stay the same. This is the name/image change only.”

We surveyed some students and got their opinion on this latest update at the U of R:

Kelsey Janelle Mills, a MAP visual arts student said, “I like the new name, but I don’t know how necessary it is. I think Fine Arts Department was fine; it let people know what it was. I feel like Media, Art, and Performance is just confusing.”

“The name change sounds interesting,” said Jasmine Farahanu, a psychology student. “Hopefully it will attract more students to the department. Future students might find the ‘Faculty of Media, Arts, and Performance’ less intimidating than the ‘Faculty of Fine Arts.’ The new name does sound more inclusive. Sometimes, something as simple as a name change can change the way we look at something.”

“I don’t know. I like Fine Arts more,” Kristian, an English student, said. “It makes the department sound more professional. More academic. But I very much understand the new point of view and getting away from the ‘snobby’ stereotype.”

Despite the recent change, and the introduction of a large promotional banner in the Riddell Centre, many students felt they were not well informed about the situation, and were either unaware of the change, or felt it had little impact on their own experiences. The M.A.P. faculty was diligent in informing students through a variety of ways, namely an email, class visitations, and a paper letter sent to every student.

“We hope it helps to raise the profile and promote the study of the humanities at the University of Regina, making the school a study destination,” said Staseson.

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