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BU: CFA and the Larger Community

As a part of Student Government during my sophomore year of college, I often found myself in Senate meetings thinking about the fact that I was representative of the entire CFA and my knowledge of the schools beyond SOT was severely deficient. I was their designated representative and my understanding of their collegiate experience was limited to passing by them in the hallways. I voted on bills and issues that directly affected them and I knew nothing about them. Furthermore, I was also voting on bills and issues that affected the larger BU community and, to be quite frank, if the other schools within CFA were foreign to me, the larger BU community was on another planet.

I’d just like to take a moment and drop a few pieces of information:

  • Some university students are represented three times. 1. Residence hall representative 2.  Representatives of the student groups they’ve joined 3. The representative of their college. 3 TIMES!!!
  • BU Senate has resources!!! Around $15,000 are allocated to BU StuGov, most of which is doled out right on the senate floor where the above representatives vote on where to allocate that money. Beyond money, BU StuGov has direct contact with university administration, from the likes of Dean Elmore and Battaglino. Meaning your StuGov representatives have a platform – to advocate for your needs – that extends all the way into President Brown’s office and the elusive board of trustees.
  • ANYONE can attend senate meetings. ANYONE can make proposals.

Why am I bombarding you with this information?

As a college, CFA struggles to integrate the three colleges it houses in a manner that would be conducive to collaboration among these preprofessional artists. Every college within CFA is so isolated and a part of me fails to understand why, because collaboration amongst them can be so fruitful, as well as an engaging learning experience. Is it not the job of the artist to engage with the world around him, whether he’s a theatre artist, visual artist, or musician? Collaboration amongst the different schools can happen and it does happen, however these moments are notable anomalies and few and far in between.

Although the building houses all three schools, CFA is not a unified college that seeks to integrate its entire artistic community, and this failure comes at the detriment of the students housed within CFA. Not only do the schools fail to engage with one another but they also fail to engage with the larger BU community. With the resources that are at the disposal of CFA’s students and the platforms their representatives have, it seems incredibly illogical that CFA fails to engage with the larger BU community. Beyond the complete ignorance as to what resources are available on campus for CFA students, there’s also a social exclusivity that alienates the rest of the BU community for engaging with the work of these preprofessional BU student artists.

I realize that I’m speaking to a problem that extends into an administrative issue that quite frankly won’t change overnight. I, however, do feel that it is within the power of the student body to instigate collaboration amongst the schools within CFA, to educate themselves about the resources at their disposal and the their student leaders, and finally to engage the community in which they are producing art. I’m currently working on The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute for my rehearsal and performance credits. Without revealing any information about the plot of the show, I’d like to just reveal that visual arts play a crucial role within the play. We have reached out to an artist from the School of Visual Arts and requested some of her artwork for the show, to which she gladly accepted. I’m taking a non major acting class composed of students from the School of Visual Arts, COM, Engineering, etc. who are engaged and enthralled by theater to the same extent that my peers within the School of Theatre are. It’s in these moments that those seemingly unbridgeable gaps can be bridged.

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