By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
Cable TV on campus received an upgrade on Monday when The WB was added to Channel 9.
Marie Nordman, freshman political science major from Bridgeport, and Valerie Hanneken, freshman journalism major from Garland, both Students’ Association representatives for Gardner Hall, researched and brought a presentation before Dr. Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life, requesting that the network be included in the campus’ list of stations.
Hanneken said they got the idea about a month after school began, and they discussed it with the women in their hall.
“It was a concern of ours, and it was a concern of our constituents as well,” she said.
The representatives surveyed the Gardner Hall residents to see if they watched The WB off campus, and they included that information and a petition in their presentation. Hanneken said they also researched the show’s ratings, which helped determine whether the channel could be added.
Barnard said the programming on various stations helps him decide what to include on campus cable.
“Obviously, holistically, as a Christian university we try to pay attention to the things that are not what we would consider promoting who we are a Christians,” he said, “and that’s a tough call with respect to cable. Because it is our cable, we make choices of what’s OK to air and what’s not.”
ACU buys its cable from Cox Communications, and Barnard said the university has a set number of channels. Because of the limitations, he decides which networks will be aired.
Barnard said students have requested to add The WB before, and he had even considered adding it before the women approached him.
He said many students question which networks are included in campus cable, especially the inclusion of CMT when other music video stations are excluded.
“I have forced myself to watch MTV and BET and CMT in the past … and I was a bit surprised as I pulled out the TV Guide and watched different shows at different times of the day,” Barnard said. “I know not everything on MTV is ‘not good.’ The problem is, we can’t flip switches on and off; it doesn’t work that way, so it’s all or nothing, and I think that’s the real challenge.”
To accommodate the addition of The WB, C-SPAN2 was moved to Channel 40, one of two videoconferencing channels. If the videoconferencing channel is ever needed, C-SPAN2 will be suspended for a brief time.
Barnard said he made the decision to keep C-SPAN2 because some political science professors use it as a teaching tool for their classes.
Barnard said he has heard many positive comments about the new channel.
“People are very happy-I’ve had people come up to me and say thank you,” he said. “It’s somewhat comical that it means so much. But if my favorite show were on there, it would mean a lot to me, I guess.”
Hanneken said she feels pleased that she and Nordman were able to complete the project.
“It was exciting to do because people had wanted to [do it] in the past and had even sort of attempted it,” she said. “We decided we wanted it to be our project and wanted to make it happen.”
Barnard said it demonstrates that the Students’ Association really does represent the student body.
“This has obviously been a student concern,” he said. “Two representatives took it on, at least for their small community, Gardner, and in representing Gardner, they represented the entire student body. Had they not done that, I would have just coasted along here, and it wouldn’t have been a top priority for me.
“So I really want students to know that whereas I made it happen, it really was their representatives who brought it to my attention and gave me the student voice. I applaud them for doing it.”