SOC Dean vows to rebuild studio
Loyola School of Communication Dean Hong Cheng vowed Monday to quickly rebuild the school’s Convergence Studio following damages it sustained during weekend protests in Chicago.
“We are committed to restoring the Convergence Studio and have it fully operational for the beginning of the fall semester,” Cheng said. “Our focus is on the future and fully serving the needs of our students.”
The SOC Convergence Studio, located at Loyola’s Water Tower Campus, was damaged Saturday during protests over racial incidents involving police, most recently the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
While some of the weekend protests in Chicago were peaceful, there were also widespread clashes with police and numerous incidents of looting of retail stores and other businesses.
The SOC’s Convergence Studio, a combination television studio and computer lab, suffered extensive damage, including a smashed a window and the theft of a professional-grade video camera, 20 Mac desktop computers, two large video monitors, and other items.
After assessing the damages, Cheng said the SOC will work immediately with support from the university administration to repair studio damages and replace the equipment and computers.
“The proper instruction of our students is first and foremost on our minds, and we will strive to have the studio back in operation when the fall semester starts in August,” Cheng said.
Since the Convergence Studio is not in use this summer, Cheng said repair crews will have an opportunity to restore the studio before fall semester.
Cheng said the Convergence Studio is “more than just a facility with equipment.” It is a cornerstone of the SOC, and a space where faculty interact with students to provide quality instruction and training, inspire creativity, and encourage students to use their communication skills “to make the world a better place.”
“As an academic community firmly committed to Jesuit values, social justice (including racial justice), and First Amendment rights, we’ll continue to use our communication talent, expertise and skills to advocate these important values,” Cheng said. “I’m deeply appreciative of and grateful for the care, determination, and solidarity that our SOC family has demonstrated in these unprecedented and challenging times, as well as the support and assistance our university is giving our school right now.”