Lipscomb University’s Department of Cinematic Arts is undergoing drastic departmental changes after over $25,000 worth of lenses, cameras and accessories disappeared from the department at the end of January.

Chair of Cinematic Arts Melissa Forte reached out to cinematic arts students on Jan. 30 in an email informing them of the incident, and asking for the return of the equipment so the department wouldn’t need to involve the police.

“We are not taking this lightly,” Forte said in the email. “The value of this equipment is very high and the security of the remaining equipment very important.”

Since the Cinematic Arts department has existed for only three years, a theft of this magnitude is a crushing blow to their resources. However, this is not the first theft within the department. Both a Mac computer and money from an office were stolen previously, so the department is now altering their checkout policy in order to safeguard against further theft. Students will no longer be allowed to use departmental Macs to edit at night, as they will be kept under lock and key. Further changes have yet to be announced.

Lipscomb security was contacted for all key logs and surrounding video footage of the time, but nothing conclusive has yet arisen.

The basement of Sewell has yet to be fitted with cameras as the area is awaiting renovation by the theatre department, for the cameras would not only take months to install and connect, but they would cost around $8,000 to install. Security is hesitant because they would only to have to redo the installation with the theatre renovation. Lumination reached out to Assistant Professor of Cinematic Arts Josh Link, but he declined to comment.

Both Chair of Cinematic Arts Melissa Forte and Director of Cinematic Arts Steve Taylor have been unavailable to comment.

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