Campus News

MarCom and worship arts program undergoing major location switch

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marcom The Marketing Communication (MarCom) building is in the process of undergoing some significant changes. What was once the hub for Bethel’s MarCom base of operations is now being turned into a small recording facility for the worship arts program. MarCom is responsible for tracking and preparing information going out or coming into Bethel College, while also being responsible for the running of things such as the Bethel Magazine, Bethel press releases, media contacts, branding, and messaging for the school. The department is moving out of its current facility and is in the process of moving into the fourth floor of the Miller-Moore Academic Center (AC). Bethel’s vice president of institutional advancement Rick Munroe oversees the MarCom department and says that this is a change that the MarCom department needed to make in order to be more connected with the college and continue the school’s success. “MarCom is an important group that needs to be connected to campus,” stated Munroe. “They need to know what’s going on with students, staff and the community. It makes a huge difference bringing them on campus and putting them in the Academic Center.” Munroe stated that MarCom’s move from its old building to the AC has been a hope for the department since he arrived at Bethel two years ago. However, the administration has been waiting for the right opportunity to open up for the department to change its operations. “This was something that MarCom has always seen as being an important move to make,” said Munroe. “Their feeling of disconnect from the campus was important to me. I wanted them to be connected to campus, but we just had to wait for space to become available.” Now that the department will be more on campus than before, Munroe stated that work should become both more efficient and enjoyable for all members involved. “Making things more efficient and being able to make contact with people quicker will be huge,” said Munroe. “Now, they are literally steps away from students in classrooms. They’re going to be more connected to the community of Bethel. According to Munroe, the best from MarCom may be soon to come. “(This department has) very efficient and creative people, and I want them to be able to best utilize their creativity.” While this transition has been quite important for the MarCom department, it also is quite beneficial to the worship arts program as well. Professor of youth ministry Terry Linhart was able to discuss the changes that MarCom’s absence in the old facility will provide for one of Bethel’s newest fields of study. “The worship arts program requires a certain amount of hands on gear, and there just hasn’t been enough space on campus for a studio,” said Linhart. “We’re adding two new mini-studios in the old MarCom building.” Linhart said that these studios will be added into the old MarCom building, but they aren’t full recording studios. Instead, these studios are a temporary aid to students in their course work at Bethel. One of the studios will have a full isolation booth for both vocals and instruments. “President Chenoweth secured a donation that allowed us to purchase some basic microphones, software and keyboards for the department’s use,” said Linhart. “Also, when the art department updated their iMacs, three of their older monitors were given to the worship arts studio.” The worship arts department is one of the school’s newest majors/minors, but it has had some trouble in regards to finding room for students to work on their hands-on course work. “There’s a studio on campus in the (Everest-Rohrer (ER) building) that has a piano lab and an office, but we’re just limited on space in the music department,” said Linhart. “We’re trying to create space for students to be able to work on projects and do recording. Linhart also expressed his hopes that the old MarCom building can become a hub not just for worship art students, but also outside departments like the communication, theatre and music departments as well. The new studio will definitely be geared towards allowing students to learn and become proficient with the sound equipment. “Technology is such a huge aspect in worship ministry,” stated Linhart. “I really want these students to be proficient and feel comfortable with what they’re doing when they graduate.” Linhart expects big opportunities to come from this change, and there are still more big changes expected for the future. “We’re hoping to be able to help an album or two be finished before the end of the year,” stated Linhart. “We’re hoping to be able to use the piano lab in the ER as a recording studio at some point in the near future, but right now we’re just taking things one step at a time.” The renovations are expected to be finished in late January of 2017. The final additions to be added to the building will include an additional sound-proof wall and swipe-access doors. Altogether, Linhart approximated the total costs for the facility’s renovation to be around $15,000. Donations and portions of the sales of the department’s first album, “Anchor in the Undertow,” have helped pay for this renovation.
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