The Students’ Association Senate appropriated $12,000 Monday night for the purchase of approximately 700 more DVDs for the collection currently housed in the Multimedia Center. The proposal, made by the executive branch, will increase the school’s popular DVD collection to just under 1,000 titles.

“Expanding the DVD library will give every student the ability to watch popular movies for free,” senior and SA President Lonny Mallach said. “For about $4 per student [in SA funds] we have created a small, free Blockbuster on campus.”

At Monday’s meeting, the senate discussed the appropriate amount of money needed to fund the executive branch’s proposal. Senate debated lowering the amount allocated from $12,000 to $8,000. After a lengthy debate, senate ultimately decided to approve the original idea.

“I think there was a good healthy debate on the proposal,” Take-Five Scholar and Speaker of the Senate Ashley Conner said. “It was a wise, informed decision the senate came to.”

History

This is the second time in 2002 that senate has appropriated SA funds toward building the DVD collection. Juniors Andrew Baukney and Noah Kuschel spearheaded the effort to expand the library’s small collection of popular DVDs early last year. In April, the senate approved their proposal of $2,000, which was matched by funds from the library endowment appropriated by Dean of the Libraries Ron Dow.

This money purchased 220

DVDs, which were chosen using a compilation of student suggestions. Titles in the current collection include: “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” “Gladiator,” “Training Day,” and”The Godfather” series.

“This illustrates a good example of students and administration working together to improve student life,” Kuschel said.

The problem, according to both Kuschel and Baukney, was that there were not enough DVDs to satisfy student demand.

“The service was so popular there just weren’t any DVDs on the shelf,” Baukney said.

Library statistics prove the popularity of the service. Between Sept. 3 and Sept. 26 each DVD was rented an average of three times, with many checked out as many as six or seven times and last Monday only 21 DVDs available to be rented.

“This is the best expenditure of SA funds in as long as anyone can remember,” Baukney said.

The senate will approve the final list once it is completed and the DVDs are expected to be part of the collection in the multimedia center later this semester.

“It isn’t about approving ‘American Pie 1’ versus ‘American Pie 2,'” sophomore senator and service committee chair Peter Ordal said.

“We want to make sure the list is good overall and that it serves the general interests of students,” he continued.

Conner agreed, saying that “the right steps are in place to make sure that the money we allocate will be spent wisely.”

Mallach hopes this large appropriation will be the last for the SA, as he hopes smaller purchases to keep the collection current will fall under the library’s general budget.

A list of the current collection can be viewed at www.lib.rochester.edu/. Searches can be run based on genre, director or language. To learn more about the program or make suggestions of movies for the collection, contact the executive branch at dvd@mail.rochester.edu.

Hildebrandt can be reached at thildebrandt@campustimes.org.



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