BSU unveils million dollar student media center (photo gallery)

BEMIDJI-BSU’s media and communications students have a new place to hone their skills before they step out into the world.

University staff on Wednesday unveiled a new million-dollar student media center that resembles professional media offices and includes a radio booth, TV studio, print media workspace, and more. a central meeting space and two classrooms.

“We really didn’t have another place to study or collaborate other than the library,” said Sabrina Okeson, a junior major in mass communication. “The media center has given us a home. We have a place where the professors, the equipment and the production rooms – with labs that have the right software – are just down the hall.”

Speakers on Wednesday highlighted how the university’s media offerings have arrived and the possibilities for collaboration from the new center.

“The new student media center reflects the new and challenging expectations of media professionals, namely the ability to effectively use multiple communication channels to achieve the desired result, whether it is journalism, entertainment or marketing. Said Faith Hensrud, President of BSU.

The new facility is set to house “News Team”, a new staff plan to be offered during this spring semester. Department chair Virgil Bakken said students enrolled in the class will research and investigate stories and then decide which medium in print, broadcast, etc. is best suited to broadcast their stories.

The combined space would also have prompted academic staff to change the name of the Department of Mass Communications to “Department of Integrated Media”.

“I know they’re very excited. I think the (new) signs were printed before I even signed the documents,” Hensrud joked.

Bakken said the new name challenges staff to be diverse and collaborative. The university’s television and radio stations, its Northern Student magazine and the Headwaters Film Festival will all be headquartered in the new facilities.

“I am proud to say that it is run entirely by students,” Bakken said. “We have academic advisers, but the students run every organization. “

University staff also read a long list of BSU alumni who have had long careers in the Bemdji and Minnesota area media, including Dan Seeman, the award-winning vice president of Hubbard Radio. who spent three years in school.

BSU spent $ 1 million to build the new facility, of which $ 250,000 came from the Joseph and Janice Leuken Family Foundation. The BSU Alumni & Foundation Board voted in 2015 to allocate the foundation’s donation to the media center.

“It was the addition of these dollars, donated as part of BSU’s five-year Imagine Tomorrow campaign, that made the project as well equipped as it is,” wrote Scott Faust, director of university communications and marketing.

Faust said the remaining $ 750,000 came from the school’s general fund.

The new media center once housed the Lakeland Public Television, which has since moved to a new building near the center of Sanford.

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