EDITORIAL: For $7K, BTV65 should show more than blue screens
As Brandeis' only student-run television station, BTV65 promises movies, student-made television shows and commercials of on-campus clubs and groups to the student body. What we see when we turn to channel 65, however, is almost always a blank blue screen or the main menu of a DVD. It reflects extremely poorly on the channel and its staff to maintain such a lack of programming. Movies, when they are actually shown, are repeated ad nauseum, and, in some cases, picture or sound quality is so poor that even attempting to watch a show proves futile. Some commercials for campus groups are shown (most notably, the women's Ultimate Frisbee team and the Buddhism Club), but no information is provided about how to advertise and it seems new commercials are seldom added. And the innovative and often hilarious student shows of last year, like The Dumpster Kids and Resident Strife, have all but disappeared.
According to the BTV65 Web site, the station's daily schedule is filled with shows like Phatter Than Carson, a music video and interview show; The Hookup, a Brandeis dating elimination show; BTV Cribs, a localized version of the MTV favorite; and movies like Do The Right Thing. But instead of this promised schedule, community members are often subjected to seemingly round-the-clock blue screens.
BTV receives about $7,000 from the Student Activities Fund. As a secured media organization, they receive this funding every semester without application or demonstration of consistent productivity. The other secured media organizations-WBRS, The Archon, and this newspaper-deliver on a consistent basis. And while there is no doubt that television studios require a lot of attention and upkeep, there is no excuse for the state of BTV. WBRS requires live DJs willing to make huge time sacrifices in order to maintain their 24-hour programming, but they still manage to stay on the air practically year-round. BTV isn't capable of getting through a full day.
BTV65 has the potential to be a great television station and outlet for student creativity. The success of Brandeis' own film festival, SunDeis, proves there are countless students at Brandeis with the sense of humor, technological savvy, creativity and ability to write and film some wonderful television shows and movies. But first the station must be able to maintain consistent programming. Without this, BTV will never gain the respect and popularity that its potential-and its funding-demands.