Students hoping to minor in graphic design at Binghamton University might be temporarily out of luck.
BU’s department of art and design is looking to suspend the graphic design minor as students majoring in fine arts with a concentration in graphic design struggle to register for required classes. Kendra Hansen, secretary for the department of art and design, wrote in an email that these difficulties are being caused by a University-wide hiring freeze and increased student enrollment.
“Due to severe financial strains that Binghamton University is experiencing right now, Harpur College is unable to replace retiring faculty, two of which are in the department of art and design,” Hansen wrote. “This, paired with the increased undergraduate enrollment in our department, has left us scrambling to meet the needs of our current majors.”
Some art and design majors, such as Mikayel Harutyunyan, a junior majoring in graphic design, are frustrated with the restricted access to required classes. Harutyunyan said that getting denied from these classes has been a continuous problem during his time at BU.
“Registering for graphic design classes has been one of the worst experiences I’ve had at Binghamton University,” Harutyunyan said. “Every year, I am unable to register for the classes that I need to be in. As a sophomore, I was a register[ed] junior and was still unable to sign up for the right classes.”
Harutyunyan said being denied from required classes can force students to stay at the University past their senior year — something that he has been concerned about while completing his undergraduate degree. According to Harutyunyan, the temporary suspension could help solve this problem.
“I believe [it’s] a step forward in making sure that graphic design majors and especially BFA majors can complete the classes on time,” Harutyunyan said. “Certain classes are needed to be able to take more advanced ones, and if by a specific time you are unable to take them, then you are forced to take another two semesters of classes. By suspending the minor, [fewer] graphic design majors will have to worry about staying for more than four years.”
The suspension, if approved by the University administration, would take effect in fall 2019. In an email sent to the fine arts minor Listserv on Nov. 14, Hansen wrote the suspension wouldn’t be permanent.
“We will continue to review registration trends and implement strategies to make the most of the resources we have at hand; this with the hope and intention of reinstating the minor in the near future,” Hansen wrote.
The temporary suspension wouldn’t affect students who are already minoring in graphic design. However, it would impact students hoping to minor in graphic design in the future, such as Katherine Dennett, a junior majoring in English, who intended to add a minor in graphic design to her degree.
“I just switched out of my engineering major into English rhetoric and global culture with a minor in art, intending on concentrating in graphic design in hopes of having the possibility of working in a creative design or marketing career,” Dennett said. “Taking away the graphic design minor closes doors for possible future jobs and opportunities having the background of the concentration in graphic design would provide me.”