Taking Back TV: AV Club Revitalizes Coop TVs

After watching the plasma TVs in the Coop run a tour of the campus, several students decided to form an organization called Student Media Productions responsible for running a variety of more interesting footage on these screens. The footage is intended to “enrich the atmosphere” of the Coop, according to first-year member Matt Vaughn, as well as showcase Colgate events, student groups, and student projects. Material shown on the screens includes advertisements of student groups as well as lectures and other events on campus. “If you don’t see an event on campus, that’s it”, however SMP is now able to film the event and show it, along with reactions from students, on the plasma TV as junior member of SMP Jeff Turney explained. This allows students to see events they otherwise would not have been able to. Currently, most of the lectures and events shown on the plasma screens are those also covered by the Maroon- News. In addition, SMP also shows student art projects, including a recent one called “Light in Motion” produced by Arts 221, Video Art I.Student Media Productions just got underway this semester, so it is still in its early stages. Membership is currently low, around four students, mostly because the process of preparing videos is very time consuming. However, students don’t necessarily need any skills or filming experience to become involved in SMP, as any of these skills can be learned. SMP is eager for new members, as they will then be able to show more footage and film more events on campus.SMP has much larger aspirations for the future, which will probably require a larger membership base. SMP hopes to expand beyond the Coop, to have plasma TVs in other areas on campus, such as Frank or the academic buildings. A much larger goal of the SMP is to have the organization work in conjunction with the Maroon- News. Currently, SMP films some news events covered in print by the Maroon News, but it intends to possibly branch out by having students report events on location as they are occurring, much like a TV news station. The new, expanded footage on the plasma TVs in the Coop have enjoyed mixed reception. Many students only glimpse at them as they walk by, although several do stop to watch. “The TVs are situated in an awkward places,” first year Liz Turner comments. “If they were located where we eat, we would probably watch them more.” This sentiment has been echoed by other students as well.”The plasma screens often go unnoticed because they are in a place at the Coop where everyone passes but no one really hangs out,” Nancy Ng said ’08. “There really aren’t any seating areas for those interested to watch comfortably for prolonged periods of time without blocking other students coming and going to the Coop.” As SMP continues to develop, perhaps their work will become more accessible and frequented more often.