Finally, students may have something more dynamic to view on the currently blank Channel 10 — dining hall menus and movies times.
The executive board of YaleStation.org, a student-run Web site, has requested use of Channel 10 or “Yale Vision,” which is owned by the University. The station now features only a blue screen, which YaleStation.org would like to replace with a campus, local and national information service. The Yale College Dean’s Office is considering the request and will decide on it this spring.
“The theory is ‘something is better than nothing,'” Dean of Administrative Affairs John Meeske said, calling the proposal “modest,” but more likely to be accepted than past student proposals for the television station.
According to the YaleStation TV proposal, the group would post weather updates, dining hall menus, movie times and school and national headlines. Clark said YaleStation.org could begin the postings immediately at no extra cost to the University. YaleStation.org’s servers would post the information automatically, so students would not need to be on duty 24 hours a day.
About one or two students usually come forward with proposals for the station each semester, but none have ever been accepted, Meeske said.
But YaleStation.org board members said their proposal will not fade away. Board member Alexander Clark ’04 said he does not think there are any strong reasons not to accept the station.
Past proposals have often focused on adding student-run shows, which could conceivably make Yale responsible for controversial material. Through its 1998 deal with cable provider Comcast, Yale owns seven channels, some of which now carry international channels and language programs.
Meeske said the content of YaleStation seems harmless, making this proposal attractive.
“[Clark] is deliberately making it as vanilla as possible, so that there won’t be problems,” Meeske said. “The question is ‘Do we want to use one of these channels for stuff that’s not the most exciting stuff in the world?'”
Instead of creating original content, the station would reproduce news and announcements from the Internet and newspapers.
Editors from the Yale Herald and the Yale Daily News said the papers have not agreed to share their content or headlines with the station. Clark said the station only plans to post headlines, which he said are not copyrighted.
Herald Editor in Chief Kate Moran ’02 said the station could post the paper’s headlines but not actual stories. Yale Daily News Editor in Chief Michael Barbaro ’02 said no Yale Daily News material could be posted, adding that all Yale Daily News material is copyrighted.
Clark is also working with Elizabeth Deters ’04 on a proposal for an online service for student-run shows.
Comparing the two proposals, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said the online service would have greater potential to present liabilities for Yale.
“[Clark’s] is informational,” Trachtenberg said. “The other is creative.”
Clark said he does not see the informational postings of his proposal as barring future student programs from developing on the station.
“This is designed really to be a place holder. … It’s not anything permanent,” Clark said. “People will probably say ‘finally they did something with the blue screen, and this is all they did.'”