Letter to the Editor: Student group objects to fine arts and graphic design pieces

Letter to the Editor: Student group objects to fine arts and graphic design pieces

We are students of Castleton Content Lab, a student-led and managed design agency that supports mutually beneficial community and campus initiatives. We work directly with regional municipalities, chambers of commerce, non-profit organizations and community organizations.

As students affected by the Optimization 2.0 plans, we would like to express our objections to the removal of the Fine Arts and Graphic Design programs from the Castleton campus.

The loss of graphic design at Castleton disrupts Castleton Content Lab’s career-defining, important projects. For example, we recently partnered with Rutland to rename city signs. This follows the successful rebranding of Poultney to support revitalization. Additionally, we’ve been reaching out to local organizations like Mint: Rutland’s Makerspace, the Blue Line Club (a hockey team booster), and created a new game show that bridges relationships between Castleton students and notable figures in the community.

All of these projects not only give us an opportunity to explore our academic interests, but also provide valuable real-world applications for our career plans. It allows us to learn valuable skills such as effective client communication, project management, team coordination, and other skills specific to graphic design and media creation.

It is important to note that although these projects are student-led, our projects are successful because of the community partnerships and connections fostered by Castleton faculty. None of this would have come to fruition without the direct support of our advisors, coaches, and support staff in the fine arts, graphic design, and communication programs.

Excluding these professors and programs would completely disable these benefits, significantly impacting the lives of students at Castleton. It is also important to realize that many of our projects and programs directly impact the local communities and campus clubs that turn to us in need of our services.

We chose this campus to earn our degree, and we stayed all thanks to our professors, the opportunities they provided us, and the positive influence they had in shaping our lives. We are not exaggerating in any way when we say that we would not have spent our time, money, and effort here if this major had been transferred to a different campus, with different professors, and a completely different curriculum.

We chose to come to Castleton because of what it could offer us and we highly suggest keeping it that way so that the programs continue to have lasting positive impacts on students.

We hope that President Smith will seriously consider our words and consider the negative impact that gentrification 2.0 will have on our college experience. The professors here have been invaluable to our lives and it would be a shame to deprive incoming students of the same opportunities.

On behalf of the members of the Castleton Content Lab, we encourage you to reconsider the choices you have made with our Fine Arts and Graphic Design programs.

Zachary Thomas
Castleton Content Lab at Castleton University

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