The UR TV Club is trying to get up and running again after a hiatus. Founded five years ago, the club originally had an enthusiastic following, reaching approximately 150 members.

However, the numbers soon waned, student dedication turned lackluster and URTV eventually received a complete overhaul in the beginning of the fall semester of 2001.

The club currently has 18 members, a studio in the basement of Anderson Tower, and some video/audio editing equipment ? but no programming ready to air.

“There’s basically nothing left from the club of five years ago, not even from the club of last year,” said senior and president of URTV Matt Walker.

He and URTV vice president Evan Gaines, also a senior, spent much of the fall of 2001 rebuilding the club by writing a constitution and setting up the studio for filming and editing.

“Evan and I had to basically start from scratch and get the club officially recognized again,” Walker said.

However, since the overhaul, no new programming by URTV has aired on Channel 18, the UR cable channel reserved for running student submissions.

The primary reason is that club members can’t find the time necessary to finish their productions.

Many students who originally signed up for URTV said that they underestimated how much time is involved in getting a show produced.

“TV is a lot more work than people envision,” said Gaines. In addition to the actual writing and filming, editing a half-hour-long show from already-filmed material may take around 30 hours.

“Another problem is, Matt [Walker] and I are the only ones who know how to use the [studio] equipment,” said Gaines. Currently, only URTV members are allowed access to the studio.

Lack of space is also a problem. Filming, mixing, and editing must be done in the 14-by-20-foot studio, which is barely large enough for the tasks.

URTV lobbied to rent more space from Residential Life, but was denied.

“Space is at a premium at the university,” said Director of Student Activities Rob Rouzer. “I don’t know if anything is going to be available anytime soon.”

Lack of funding also prevents any significant upgrades. URTV currently receives $800 of SA funding annually, $600 of which goes to studio rent. The club also has to rely on cameras borrowed from students, since URTV has no filming equipment of its own.

URTV does not have access to broadcasting facilities, but submits finished materials to the director of student activities who controls when they air.

Once Rouzer leaves for the University of Illinois-Chicago to become their director of Campus Unions in a few days, URTV will report to Interim Director of Student Activities Anne-Marie Algier, who will take his place.

The signal is transmitted through the closed-circuit UR cable network and is not broadcast off campus.

Walker and Gaines are hopeful the club will get started. “What we really need is a lot of members to divide the work between,” said Walker.

UR has considered offering TV production as a class, as well as a club. This way, students would be able to dedicate more time to URTV since it wouldn’t detract from their academic workload like it does now.

“We’re pretty much breaking new ground as well as trying to keep grades up,” said Walker. “If they were to make it a class for TV production, it would be more feasible.”

Among more promising future projects for URTV is a nine-episode series titled “Best of UR Video,” which contains short films, music videos, and other productions by students.

“We’ve got enough stuff for about nine shows,” said Walker. He added that the material is not yet ready for airing.

“The main reason for lack of programming is not for lack of want, it’s for lack of submissions,” Walker said.

“If people approach us, we’ve got the equipment to do it,” Walker said.

Uzilov can be reached at auzilov@campustimes.org.



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