Taylor: Student options in visual arts program disgraceful

Geneseo is an incredible academic institution, arguably unparalleled by any other state universities outside of the University of California system. Except when it comes to photography, graphic design and computer arts.

College counselors and academic advisors in high school tend to refer to Geneseo as a "hidden gem." Unlike the ultra-popular Binghamton University and SUNY New Paltz, Geneseo is located far from densely populated Long Island and the downstate area, making it a road far less traveled. For that reason, the individual attention given to students here largely outweighs that of the larger SUNY institutions and various other state universities across the country.

One aspect of the school seems to be lacking, considering the success of the school as a whole. The fact that such an impressive college is without a legitimate faculty in the photography, graphic design and computer arts department is upsetting to say the least. Michael Teres currently serves as the only professor teaching classes in these fields. This is not to criticize the teaching practice of Teres or the right of any professor to teach classes in multiple, related fields of study. The fact of the matter is, as of now, Geneseo does not offer a well-rounded education in the liberal arts.

Any student who elects to attend Geneseo because of his or her interest in the biology program will be well served in that field, and thanks to the reputation of the school, he or she will most likely gain entrance into a prestigious medical school. But what happens to the student whose interest changes from biology - a very common interest among freshmen at Geneseo - to graphic design? What happens if a student is already at Geneseo when he realizes he wants to study photography instead of anthropology? Must he seek an education elsewhere if he decides to pursue a degree that he is passionate about?

It is unclear how often this happens. Prospective students of Geneseo may typically start out uninterested in the three fields that are lacking. Those who start to become interested in graphic design may discard that aspiration because of its impossibility at Geneseo. Maybe those students all transfer or maybe they drop out, but either way the outcome is dismal. Whatever the eventuality may be, it seems as if photography, graphic design and computer art are three forgotten fields here at Geneseo. I can't imagine an academic institution ever frowning on any field of study, so what makes these areas of study so forgettable?