UUTV will change name after break with University Union
By next semester, not even the sign on the door at University Union Television will be the same.
After 30 years as a committee of the broader University Union, UUTV will be striking out on its own as a new and independent student organization, said Eric Fleming, UUTV general manager, and Courtney Bell, UU president.
‘We feel that in order to serve SU students better, now is the best time to make this change,’ Fleming said. ‘[We] have analyzed every factor that plays into this decision and all signs point to UUTV becoming an independent student organization.’
The new student-run and student-operated organization will adopt a new name and logo, as well as return for next semester with a new set of equipment and new capabilities to produce commercial productions.
‘College students are really challenging as a public to understand, and we want to be able to best understand what they want,’ Fleming said. ‘This decision will give us a chance to re-brand … what UUTV becomes.’
However, according to research done by UUTV, 60 to 70 percent of Syracuse University students are aware of the television station, but indifferent to it.
‘I hope, and I expect [students] will see, this as progress,’ Fleming said. ‘UUTV has really gone through a tremendous amount of change.’
Since Fleming arrived, he said he has seen the station go from a frugal student club with a single light bulb on its set to a professional quality television station with an all-digital format and all the dimensions of a real network affiliate without any kind of daily faculty intervention.
‘It’s something unparalleled in other schools,’ Fleming said.
The decision to make the split, however, did not go uncontested.
‘At first, I disagreed on behalf of the alumni,’ Bell said, focusing on the importance of maintaining a good relationship with past members of UU programs.
In order to help alumni understand the change, Fleming said they will put a plan devised by public relations students at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications into effect, as well as an alumni banquet and more regular communication.
The break, according to Fleming and Bell, is mainly an administrative change.
‘[UUTV] is different from most of the other University Union organizations,’ Fleming said, pointing out how little UUTV has in common with the other boards.
UUTV is located in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center in Watson – far from the UU offices in the basement of the Schine Student Center.
Also, the budget of UUTV and other UU organizations is decided separately, which has kept equipment and property of the organizations divided. In fact, according to Fleming and Bell, the biggest difference will be the relationship between UU and UUTV – there will no longer be advance notice or special treatment of the television station at UU events.
Fleming and Bell were both optimistic about the future of their organizations and with the decision they’ve made.
‘We’re moving in the right direction,’ Bell said.
‘Yeah, I think that’s what it comes down to,’ Fleming said.
Other UUTV employees would not comment on the change.
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