Making fashion fit: reporter’s notebook

Courtesy of Tommy Yanez

The original story for this reporter’s notebook can be found here.

Noting a lack of fashion programming at Pitt, we thought this story would be an interesting foray into all the ways student fashionistas flourish regardless.

In our reporting, we went to the College of General Studies’ office to talk with someone about the possibility of students self-designing a fashion major at Pitt. The self-designed major through the CGS allowed Pitt students to create a course plan for any approved major that the University didn’t already offer — but our simple quest for information revealed another story about missing resources at Pitt.

There is no longer a self-design major program at PItt.

According to Leena Paccino — recruiter at CGS who spoke on behalf of CGS academic adviser Mel Watkins — one student previously requested to create a self-design major in fashion, but the request was denied. Paccino did not elaborate on when the student requested the major or why the request was denied.

After talking with Paccino, we reached out to Watkins for comment about the lack of a fashion program, and Watkins said he would consider an interview once he had permission from the University. Watkins directed us to University spokesperson Carol Mullen.

Mullen further directed us to University spokesperson Joe Miksch.

Miksch responded to our interview request March 17, in an email saying that the self-design program “is no longer an option at Pitt.” This had not been previously reported by The Pitt News. The self-design program’s website, however, remains up and running.

In a later phone conversation, Miksch would not comment on why the self-design program is no longer being offered. Miksch also said Watkins was no longer willing to comment on the lack of a fashion program at Pitt, or on the previously denied student request.

All of this means that without a formal announcement or an accompanying website update, the self-design program at Pitt — what some of us older reporters remember as a selling point in our Pathfinders tour — is kaput.

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