I’ve emailed and gotten no response. How can I make it more likely an organization responds to my requests for more information or to join?

Be persistent. Find out when the organization's regular meetings occur and show up. Instead of sending a vague message saying you’d like to "do something," come up with an idea for something you can do on your own and pitch it. Send examples of work you’ve done previously.

Working with our organizations is like any other job in media; there are dozens of people who would love to be the one who gets it. To take that opportunity for yourself, you have to be willing to work for it and be persistent.

And please, remember that our student leaders are still students – they’ve got class and projects just like any other student, on top of their responsibilities managing their group day-to-day. If they don’t get back to you right away or send email replies deep into the night, Don’t take it personally.

As a last resort, try contacting the professional staff at the SMC. They can’t assign you to any organizations, but they might be able to help the student leader find your name in a long list of potential contributors.

How independent are the media groups?

All of the independent organizations have complete content control over their media. The Student Media staff cannot force them to pull stories, play certain artists, remove photos, change any reporting, terminate an employee, etc.

Organizations set their budgets (approved by the Student Media Board), and the SMC staff act as paymaster on those funds – we process the transactions, ensure compliance with state and University policy but do not determine how funds are spent. Organizations operate according to their bylaws and may set their standards for the work they accept or reject.

Importantly, SMC staff stand for students’ right to free expression and to be safe from censorship. We expect our students to be treated with the same level of access and professional courtesies shown to a similarly sized 3rd-party outfit.

Can I rent equipment or reserve space at the SMC for my personal or class-related projects?

No. Equipment and space is available for use by our student staff and need to be available in the case of breaking news. But if you have a collaborative idea or project you’d like to pitch, please reach out to the Director of Student Media, Jessica Clary, so that we can discuss it.

If you are part of a media outlet and would like more information about equipment checkout or reserving studio space, email Mark Jeffries at mjeffries@vcu.edu.

What do I do if I have a complaint about an organization that they are ignoring?

If you’ve tried to schedule a meeting to discuss your concerns with the media outlet and have not received a response, please inform their adviser or the Director of the Student Media Center, Jessica Clary.

If that meeting does not satisfy your concern, Jessica can help you file an official grievance with the Student Media Board.