VCD Club creates community in computer building

By Haley Lewis, Staff Writer



Visual communication design seniors Amanda Johnson and Tony Kuchar noticed that there was a void in the sense of community in their program.

After noticing how students would not interact much with each other outside the classroom, they decided to create the visual communications design club, or VCDC for short, to get more people involved.

This has not been the first time a visual communication design club has existed.

According to Johnson, the club’s president, there was a similar club in the past that no one really knew about. It disappeared toward the end of last year because everybody in it had graduated. The new club just started winter quarter.

According to Kuchar, the vice president of the club, their program has only one little hall with three classrooms, two of which have computers and are used for instruction. There was not a space for students to work together in the Computer Engineering Building, where the design program is located.

“We wanted to facilitate an environment of collaboration,” said Kuchar.

The club cleaned out the back area in room 125 in their building, which was once used for storage. They meet every other Friday around 11 a.m. or noon. Sometimes they meet different days and do a vote when the next meeting should be to cater to everyone’s schedule.

“We have a lounge area back here,” said Johnson. “We are slowly getting people to donate stuff.”

So far the club has a matte cutter, a light box for drawing, several chairs, an archive for future student work, a few desks, a TV and a resource area filled with books and magazines.

In addition, the club hopes to plan field trips to different galleries, set up exhibitions and network. The students have a Flickr page where they can upload and critique each other’s work.

“Internships are funneled through the club,” said Kuchar. “It’s beneficial to be a part of the club because students will hear about internships early on.”

“Students this year are eager to create community,” said Colin Manikoth, the club’s staff adviser.

Manikoth hopes that being a part of the club will create design opportunities and provide experience for students. Some of the students are already getting design opportunities. Students Thomas McMichael and Joseph McMichael got a T-shirt design manufactured through Threadless.

“People work in the industry forever and don’t get a T-shirt design,” said Manikoth. “Two of our students won, which is impressive. It’s astounding to me.”

Three Eastern students, including Johnson, Kuchar and Kathleen Lilley, won Addy awards at the 2013 American Advertising Federation Spokane.

“The Addy awards is like the Oscars is to us,” said Manikoth.

Kuchar, Johnson and Manikoth hope to extend the community of the club into the the city of Spokane, where there are design opportunities for Eastern students.

Manikoth has already seen the community extend past the school with the club website being donated, called, by an Eastern graduate. Johnson calls it a one-stop shop for the program. It has club updates, upcoming speakers listed and special events. It is also a portfolio site for students to post their work for professionals to see.

Because Kuchar and Johnson are seniors, their reign is almost over. They both will be around next fall but hope to set up a base of operations for how the club will work. They want to leave behind funds for the next group to be successful. At the end of this year, they will have elections to pick new board members.

The club is holding an event called Halftone on April 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Porch, located at 1804 W. Broadway. It will feature live music from a handful of bands, the sale and auction of student art and design pieces and free catered appetizers. All ages are welcome. It costs $8 to get in and all of the proceeds will benefit the club.

“It’s easy for Spokane Falls Community College because they are right in Spokane,” said Kuchar. “We hope to make a name for ourselves out here. We hope the industry will take an interest in the work we are doing.”