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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Communcation Department Finds New Home

The Communication Department moved to Canning Hall in early February
Emily Loughridge
Communication students are navigating to their new home, Canning Hall, similarly to how to how they’re learning to maneuver drones on campus.

Canning Hall (CH) has housed the Deaf Education Department and the Oklahoma School for the Deaf (OSD) for a number of years, but the first floor is now also home to the Communication Department. In early February, the Communication Department made their move from Davis Hall (DH). The move includes Dr. J.C. Casey, professor of communication, and David Duncan, instructor of digital media technology, as well as 26 majors and five minors.

After adding the video production emphasis to the program in the fall of 2022, Dr. Casey said the department grew rapidly in terms of students, equipment, and ideas. Dr. Casey and Duncan tried expanding their program in DH, but after a few months they settled on moving to CH.

The new space has room for a television studio, which would house the program’s growing podcast, video production, and other avenues of interest. The first floor also has two office spaces and a classroom. Video production classes are located in CH 101 while communication classes are in CH 113.

“It was so uncertain because we liked where we were in Davis; we like people and being right there in that center hallway, where everybody stops to chitchat, but it didn’t work for the podcast. So, we decided to try to podcast over here,” Dr. Casey said.

After holding the podcast class in CH for the fall of 2023, it was decided to move the entire department. Dr. Casey held her first two classes in CH 113 Thursday, Feb. 1.

Of the 26 majors, 12 responded to an online, unscientific poll to gauge how students felt about the department’s move. Of the dozen students 100% were aware of the move. While 42% said they agreed with the move, an additional 42% were indifferent.

“I’ve always thought Canning was on the smaller side, so moving wasn’t initially exciting. I lean more towards disagreeing with the move,” Hayla Wilson, a freshman communication major, said. “One of my classes is so big that we won’t be able to use the Canning classrooms because they’re too small. That raises some questions for me, so I’m not entirely in favor of it.”

Dr. Casey said in the future, she plans to cap her classes at smaller numbers or start having two sections of her larger classes in order to accommodate all of the students who are in the class. For example, her largest class this trimester is Mass Communication with 29 students enrolled. In the future, this class might see fewer available seats or two sections offered.

In the unscientific poll, students were asked if they think the move will benefit the department and its students, and 58% said they thought it would. Those who agreed said the move provided more space, allowed video production to grow, was closer to the Lawson apartments, and that it would be quieter than DH.

“I think we would have a bit more space than we currently have in Davis, so that may give us the opportunity to expand on new projects for the program. However, it depends on our professors as well to help us create opportunities to learn and grow as individuals to prepare us for the real world,” Gary Jackson, a junior communication major, said. “If they don’t help us utilize the new space, then this move serves no purpose.”

Looking to utilize their new spaces, Dr. Casey and Duncan said they have great creative ambitions for CH. In the television studio, the pair want to hang lights from the ceiling, add two more sets to the classroom, and look into creating a tv show for the campus.

“There’s enough room to have three different sets in that room, and we’re going to do that to accommodate the ideas of the students. They’re learning a brand-new way to tell a story,” Duncan said about how the new studio benefits students. “It’s going to be epic for students, because now we have enough space to creatively do what we want to do. It’s just phenomenal all the resources we have now.”

As the department settles into their new space, Dr. Casey and Duncan have begun conversations about showing off the new space. There is no definite plan set yet, but talks of hosting an open house styled event were mentioned. Dr. Casey said she wants to invite the campus into CH in order to let everyone see the video production equipment, the new studio, and other classes the program offers.

“There’s no limit to our growth now because we’re in a place where we can add classes and add students, which we have been,” Duncan said.


Emily Loughridge is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief
Emily is a third-year communication major from Union City. Emily is obtaining a minor in psychology, as well. She has been on staff for The Trend since the fall of 2021 and loves working with the writers on ideas! Emily also works in the Sports Information Department on campus as the Student Assistant, where she takes photos of the various athletic events and assists with the live broadcast. When she isn't studying or working, Emily can normally be found watching Scrubs, Reba, or How I Met Your Mother and enjoying ice cream on the couch with her boyfriend.   Experience with The Trend: Editor-in-Chief: Dec. 2022 - present Managing Editor: May 2022 - Nov. 2022 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022