Over-enrolment has students complaining

Some students in the Music program at Capilano University are not pleased with the resources
available to them – or lack thereof, thanks to over-enrolment in its programs.

The Music Department this year is overenrolled at 104 per cent with 245 students, all of whom are fighting for the same resources. In particular, music students have noticed a shortage of practice rooms, lockers and computers available to them. Some students believe they are being overcharged for their program and are at a disadvantage by not having access to these things.

Practice rooms are one of the main concerns, particularly for those who do not have anywhere but at school to rehearse. A number of students cannot play their instruments while living in apartments or basement suites. Students who can’t afford their own pianos and equipment rely on having a space to practice at school that is convenient for them. There are 22 practice rooms in the Fir building when, according to over-enrolment numbers, there should be about 25. Four of these rooms are reserved for drummers, four are reserved for brass and saxophones and the other 14 are for the remaining music students.

“I hate when my practice room times are because they’re always in the morning or after classes,” says Elizabeth Riegert, a music student. “I wish my practice times could be during my breaks so I can just go home after classes to practice. It doesn’t bother me that the practice rooms aren’t soundproof when I’m actually practicing. But when I’m in the hallway and trying to study, it’s like, ‘shut up!’”

The Fir building hours, however, are quite extensive. Practice rooms are open 10 hours a day, from 8:30 am to six pm, in addition to weekends.

When the Fir building was built in 1970, it was built for regular classroom use, not designed for music. There is not enough space to build more practice rooms and more lockers would be a fire hazard. Some students end up sharing lockers because it is inconvenient for them to have a locker far away from where their classes are held.

Another music student, Jordan Hunt, says, “They don’t have enough lockers. I understand why people with bigger instruments get first dibs, but I have so many textbooks that I break my back.”

Access to technology has become another problem. In regards to computers, there should be enough in the Fir computer lab. They have limited purposes, such as second year music theory. There is one small recording studio in the Fir building and there are other resources available for music and recording in the library.

Geordi Roberts, the coordinator of the music diploma program, explained the details of how the department works and where students’ money goes. Students have options, such as a possible $10 charge that goes towards a practice room key, choral music and instrument repairs. They also receive some things for free, like choir gowns.

Music students are welcome to get assistance elsewhere, he says, dispelling the rumour that students would be kicked out of the program if they looked for extra music theory and practice help outside of Capilano.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of Capilano music teacher’s office hours to ask questions.

//Amanda Bowie

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: