VTV reflects on a successful semester

Lauren Piro

What once was dark is now bright and lively again as students tune their TVs to channel 17. After a year of being off the air, Villanova Television (VTV) recommenced broadcasting this past semester and began rejuvenating the organization – one that many students may have forgotten.

VTV is the University’s student-run TV station, broadcasting throughout campus. The station offers original programming from students as well as documented footage of many on-campus events. Due to technical difficulties during the ’06-’07 school year, VTV had to put much of its programming on hold while getting the channel up and running. With that behind them, the students of VTV re-acclimated themselves last semester and started the rebuilding process.

“I think our biggest accomplishment [this year] was just getting back on the air,” said senior Colleen Comerford, VTV president. “We revived our news show, which is really good programming that students are interested in.”

The news show, titled “‘Nova News,” has run several episodes in the past semester and is looking to grow in the coming year as a more comprehensive news source for the Villanova community. Items on the program have included coverage of on-campus events and clubs, sports and entertainment segments and a community calendar of upcoming events. Specifically, “‘Nova News” produced a Special Olympics episode and a holiday episode on CAT’s “Merry Christmas Villanova Week.”

VTV also has been showing creative programming from Villanova students. “Sheehan Beach,” a scripted drama with a cast of college students, recently saw its first true airtime since its creation in 2006. In addition, “BABEL,” the station’s original superhero drama with religious undertones, has been featured prominently on the station, gaining recognition across campus.

Comerford also noted that VTV has begun taking strides to “being more technologically up-to-date.” While once plagued with an ever-failing editing suite, VTV recently upgraded to a Mac Pro computer with Final Cut Pro video-editing software. The station is also looking to build a better news set, complete with a desk and green screen.

Comerford said she hopes the station’s recent improvements will attract more members.

“We’re really looking for more programming and to expand membership,” she said. “It’s hard to retain membership when the club is still new.”

The station has ideas to reach out to students who may already be producing pieces for broadcasting and film classes but have yet to find a larger outlet to showcase their work and ideas, Comerford said.

VTV also plans to increase its already-growing presence on campus. In addition to producing original programming, the station has filmed and edited events for many groups on campus. Such endeavors include the Student Life video and Candle Lighting Ceremony montage seen at New Student Orientation and a documentary on Villanova Student Theatre’s recent production of “Noises Off.” VTV members help Health Promotions interns with producing health-based video modules and have been utilized by Athletics to film sporting events, including men’s basketball, for Nova Nation All-Access, the athletic department’s online sports coverage.

Comerford said VTV strives to film as many on-campus events as possible.

In a newly designed underwriting program, VTV welcomes recruitment from on-campus organizations to film and edit footage of club-sponsored events for a fee.

The underwriting program also includes reaching out to the Villanova community and surrounding area for advertising space on the station. Much of the work done by VTV in the past semester centered on talking to local businesses about allowing the station to produce commercials that will be seen across campus on channel 17.

In the coming semester, VTV hopes this initiative will expand, giving real-world experience to students interested in marketing while helping the station to grow financially. The station plans to continue programs to recruit and retain members and work towards gaining a larger presence on campus.

“We’re becoming more recognized as an authentic organization,” Comerford said of the station’s successes.

Comerford stresses the station’s openness to student creativity and wants to foster a feeling that VTV “is a place where [students] can come to do whatever they want to do.”