Several students in the art department were forced to change their schedules last-minute after two upper-division classes were canceled.
Students were alerted Jan. 9 that the courses Digital Illustration and 3D Animation, both taught by Gavin Halm, had been canceled. Students were expected to drop these courses if they had registered for them and replace them with alternative classes.
Department Chairwoman Kathryn Strickland referred the Missourian to human resources on the issue of Halm’s absence.
Upon calling human resources for more information on Halm’s absence, a human resources specialist said she had no knowledge of Halm’s absence and was unaware of the vacancy within the art department. A human resources generalist did not get back to the Missourian with more information by deadline.
Some students have reported receiving phone calls from the Title IX office inquiring about their experience with Halm in previous classes.
Senior Kayla Thomas said she received a phone call Jan. 9 inquiring about her experience in class with Halm.
“The interim Title IX Coordinator, Demetrius Peterson, asked me questions because he is under investigation,” Thomas said. “He asked if I ever felt uncomfortable with him in class and I said yes because professor Halm would call me specifically “sweetie” and “beautiful.” He would also compliment my clothing and invade my personal space as well.”
Double majoring in graphic design and studio with an emphasis in photography, senior Brianna Riley had a difficult time finding classes to replace the ones that were canceled.
“Since Digital Illustration was an upper-level course, I am required to replace it with a 300 level or higher course,” Riley said. “I have taken most of the courses that I was given as an option to replace, and the ones I hadn’t taken I either couldn’t because I didn’t have the prerequisites or I simply couldn’t financially afford to pay for it due to outside fees for art supplies that I would need for the course.”
Riley said she was not surprised the classes were canceled but was irritated with the timing of the news. Riley said she wishes she would have known sooner so she would have had more time to figure out her schedule.