New film department
celebrated, but still far from being official
By Laura Katsirdakis
Students appear to be getting mixed signals as to the progress
of the creation of a new film department.
“On Tuesday, one of the associate professors of film announced
that the film department will be officially independent as of
next year in an American cinema class,” said Matt Maguire,
a fourth-year film and English student.
Maguire explained the film professor had apparently received
this information at a meeting held early this week. He added
there was talk of a celebration of this new development, possibly
at The Grad Club.
When asked to confirm or deny this, the dean of arts, Kathleen
Okruhlik, said the rumour was not true. “The consultation
process is still on the way,” she stated.
“This is a difficult process and The Gazette articles have
not been helpful; they have been over-sensational,” Okruhlik
said. This comment was in response to the articles published
on Sep. 25, Oct. 1 and Oct. 7 which reported the departure of
three of the four full-time film professors this past summer
as well as the English department’s announcement of the
beginning of talks to create an independent film department.
The chair of English and Western’s VP-academic were unavailable
“It’s not a done deal,” said Alan Gedalof,
a professor in the department of English. The negotiation process
still has to go through the faculty of arts council, the faculty
association, the Senate and the Board of Governors, he explained.
“It can’t be official yet but people are excited
about it,” Gedalof said.
Gedalof, as with Okruhlik, expressed annoyance with The Gazette’s
coverage of events in the film program. Both felt the coverage
so far has been too negative.
“It will be nice to see a story with a happy spin,” Gedalof