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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

F-board reallocates BTV funding

Published: November 2, 2007
Section: News

The Union Finance Board approved of a budget reallocation requested by the campus television station BTV, sources say. Representatives from the television station, which has not produced original programming since gaining an entirely first-year executive board in 2006, said they believed the reallocation will help them transition from a channel-based paradigm to an online format.

We were trying to reallocate our funds form the original allocation we received from April of last year from the early marathon funding to different line items, said BTV President Avi Swerdlow 10, explaining this past summer we completely changed the structure for the sustainability of BTV. To make it so that our members didnt have to put in 40 hrs to produce a show rather than produce one large production, we decided we actually had the human resources and the capability to produce a few smaller productions as opposed to one larger production.

Swerdlow stated that the organization wished to convert approximately $7,200 out of the $24,000 the F-Board granted BTV in last April into a production grant and an advertising grant. The reason we did it as a grant was because we couldnt really predict what the shows were going to need ahead of time another benefit of having a bigger grant is equipment that we didnt end up foreseeing we can order very quickly, as opposed to going through F-Board and going through an emergency request meeting.

This grant, Swerdlow added, would help BTV move from its channel-based model into a model not unlike Youtube, where content would be readily accessible at all times. We dont have to promote our channels, say please turn on your TVs at 5:30 on Nov. 1, we can just post content on the website and people can see the content whenever they want. He said we tried out a Youtube video last semester, and after a few days we got over 1,000 viewsif we had put that on the channel, we might have only gotten five views. When asked, Swerdlow said that the channel would still be available for live broadcasts, but not using the auxiliary channel would not cost the University any additional funds.

Regarding the advertising grant, Swerdlow said that were trying to move BTV from broadcasting on the channel and moving it to a website. We just dont know how much it will cost at all it also gives us the ability towards moving us to a website as well as having us advertise around campus, promoting the shows so they actually get actors and cast and crew, allowing us to be a little bit more flexible in that regard.

According to Swerdlow, Treasurer Choon Woo Ha 08 will also establish a BTV task force, which would include members of the Student Union, the E-Board, possibly the F-Board, the E-Board of BTV, even possibly members of the Administration, maybe members of the student body at largeto see why BTV keeps falling into these ruts.

In an interview with The Hoot, Ha said that obviously a concern to us is that until now, they havent spent their money at allthe F-Board met and decided initially not to reallocate their money because the problems that BTV faces are not financially related. I think the problems BTV faces are system based, and I think we really need to work on BTVs system.

That said, Ha added, I think they are very promising and dedicated to their community, and this is one of the reasons that the reallocation was approved, but I really hope they can prove it.

Student responses were mixed. Im only a sophomore, but Ive always seen BTV as a defunct station, said Emily Ricklin 10. I cant even see it working.

Meanwhile, Jessica Schaengold 11 said I think thats awesomemost of the time when I get on BTV, its a Windows screensaver. George Funk 11 added that out of all people, I know less than one-half of people have TVs.

BTV members said they were excited about the F-Boards decision. I am thrilled that BTV got the fund reallocation, because, believe it or not, we deserve it, said producer Arun Narayanan 10. I agree with the decision to take BTV in a “YouTube” direction. Students will be much more likely to watch BTV productions online than on their televisions. With everything online, viewers can watch on their own time, and easily share links through Facebook [and other programs].

Meanwhile, Ari Jadwin 10 said I know that the money received was needed, and in my opinion was not enough. For the amount of work that so many people are putting into the show, the finished product should top quality. Still, he said we will gladly use what we have and still make great shows.