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UPDATED: SBU-TV could go off the air

SBU-TV, Stony Brook University’s only closed-circuit television station since 1992, may no longer exist in its current form if some members of the the Undergraduate Student Government have their way.

At last night’s USG budget committee meeting there was discussion about whether to vote on the Communications Act, which would effectively shut down SBU-TV. However, the act will not go to the floor tonight unless USG can get one percent, or about 160 students to sign legislation to eliminate SBU-TV’s closed-circuit aspect and remove it’s current e-board.

“In the 90’s this made sense, people liked TV, they watched TV. The issue now is are people really watching TV,” said David Mazza, vice president of Communications. “My guess is no, and certainly not at the weight of $35,000 a year.”

It was not stipulated where SBU-TV’s remaining funds would go. One member of USG said the money could either be left alone, re-appropriated or they could claim it is not part of communications and start spending it.

USG says it can make changes like this to SBU-TV because it is a quasi-agancy of USG.

According to Brandon Baiden, the production manager and news director of SBU-TV, members of USG came to their office early Thursday morning and President Matt Graham asked for their keys, stating that they were concerned about SBU-TV members stealing equipment.

Baiden has started a petition condemning any changes to SBU-TV.

According to one Statesman reporter, the petition was circulated in a class this afternoon and stated that USG was going to change the current structure of SBU-TV and transfer power to USG. The issue is expect to be brought up tonight.

Isobel Breheny-Schafer, the assistant director for student media, said that she has met with members of SBU-TV and has advised them to attend the USG Senate meeting on Thursday night.

In an email to USG members Baiden claims that USG president Matt Graham and SPA director Moiz Kahn came to the SBU-TV offices and gave an executive order to leave the station and hand in their keys. 

In the email Baiden said when they told Graham they would not hand in their keys he replied,  “I’m president and you guys are an agent of USG, I have the power to do this.” 

Baiden told Graham this was like a dictatorship, to which Graham responded “yes it is.”

He goes on in the email to say USG should have worked with SBU-TV instead of reorganizing the club. 

As of Thursday morning there has been a member of the USG street team stationed outside the SBU-TV office to watch for any suspicious activity.

Check back later today for updates.

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    AnthonyFeb 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Its a shame they have to go, but for how much money they have taken and how little they produced it makes sense. I wish we could have aired our sports teams like every other college Ive ever been to had done. Or call in movie nights. I was told some of this cant be done because of copyright issues, but this is non-profit CCTV, and the real issue seems to be laziness or pure disorganization.

    Perhaps giving them a campus access webstream where during certain restricted events such as campus sports, students have to enter their netID and PWD to view the stream. Many campuses do this (i.e. SUNY Oswego, SUNY Brockport) and I think it’s a great way of letting students trapped at home, or w/o the means of getting to a game still take part without impeding on the funding raised by non-students who pay for the online webcasts and tickets at games.

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