Two months ago, I wrote about a decision Agnes Scott College made allowing a (at best) questionable cinema project - Road Trip II: Beer Pong - access to the campus and student body during their film shooting. The story broke at the Bilerico Project by senior Louisa Hill who garnered support against the poor decision that resulted in degrading and humiliating experiences for the students and triggered strong reaction from the alumni and Agnes Scott community.
Some light has emerged from the dark clouds. According to Hill, the administration has proposed the following amendments:
- The script and any promotional materials will be reviewed by the Film Shoot Advisory Committee.
- The committee will make a recommendation to the college president regarding the appropriateness of the film.
- The president, in consultation with the Executive Council, makes a final decision on whether or not the college will agree to the film shoot taking into consideration multiple factors, including the recommendation of the Film Shoot Advisory Committee, anticipated revenue and potential publicity.
- If a film is selected, the administration will review the campus calendar and consult with student life staff to establish a film shoot schedule that minimizes disruption to campus activities and the college's educational mission.
- At least one educational opportunity will be included in every film contract. These opportunities might include shadowing experiences for students interested in theatre or film, coordinated through the theatre department, or class visits or workshops for interested students led by members of the production team.
And while this all sounds fine and well, it is another straw of evidence that the thoughtless business practices of higher education unfortunately sometimes trump the well-being of the student body. As Hill reports, there was no formal apology or recognition that approving this decision to begin with was problematic.
However, if this incident proves anything, it shows that, despite the myth that apathetic college students do not raise their voices or organize, young adults can and DO in fact care and wil speak their minds, even at the metaphorical and formidable desk of college administrators.