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UA Allocates $18K for Student Cable

By Vincent Chen


The Undergraduate Association has agreed to allocate more than $18,000 for the joint use of MIT Student Cable and the Interactive Introduction to the Institute (I3). The two organizations presented a joint proposal to combine resources, and to purchase additional cameras and editing equipment.

“This is kind of a plan to bring student cable into easier use, hopefully a revitalization of student cable,” said Jaime E. Devereaux ’02, UA President.

The goal of the project is to make video equipment and editing facilities more easily available to MIT students, making it easier to create and record original video programs and to record various events on campus. This video could then be broadcast on MITV in order to reach more people. In addition, this new equipment would make the production of I3 easier.

“We want to pool our resources. This will mean twelve cameras available for use, and will give living groups more time to make their video segments in I3,” said Vikash Gilja ’03. “We’re hoping for a more faithful portrayal of living groups to help freshmen make a better informed living group decision, especially important because the housing they choose over the summer could become their permanent housing.”

Another funding option I3 could have pursued would have been the dean’s office, but as Gilja pointed out, “that would restrict our content because we would be under dean’s office guidelines.”

The project will also increase awareness of MIT Student Cable. Students seeking to put together segments for I3 would have to make use of Student Cable facilities. “We’re hoping that student groups will look at Student Cable as another way of voicing themselves,” Gilja said.

I3 is a UA special project directed by the UA Committee on Housing and Orientation. Last year, it produced a pilot CD-ROM which was then distributed to incoming freshmen, including video introductions to the residence system, and videos, text, and images produced by dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.

“We’re also hoping that through Student Cable we can help fix some of the problems with communications that are present now,” Gilja said. “There are a lot of students who feel they are not informed about decisions that are made, not only by administration, but also by student leaders. This might be another way for the UA to make announcements.”

Other benefits of new equipment include the possibility of a biweekly UA update along with interviews of administrators, according to the proposal.

Other proposals were discussed at the meeting, including a proposal by the Association of Student Activities to move the MIT Science Fiction Society’s library into a portion of the reading room and then renovate the current library to house eight to twelve student groups that are currently in need of office space.

Of approximately 300 student groups on campus, about a third request office space, and 31 of those, or about a third, still are in need of office space, according to ASA President Alvar Saenz Otero G.

“The reading room is not used as effectively as it can be,” said Saenz Otero. “We know there is high utilization during finals week, but we also know that there are many other spaces that can be used as reading rooms during finals.”

Saenz Otero suggested using spaces such as Transitions and the 2nd floor of Lobdell for study space during finals week.

Moving the SFS library to the reading room will result in the loss of about 20 study spaces out of approximately 80.

The current constant utilization of the study spaces is less than 50 percent, Saenz Otero said.