WVTV scheduled to be on-air in spring of 2007

Jessica May

Construction in Vasey Hall has forced WVTV, the official student television station, to permanently relocate to Tolentine Hall, temporarily disabling the channel’s broadcasting capabilities.

Brandy Jericho, the assistant director of Student Development, commented on the frustrating year the station has experienced as well as the solutions that are currently in place.

“We have an amazing core of dedicated students that have stuck through this ordeal,” Jericho said. “It’s a shame that their product is not out there because they have been working incredibly hard this past year.”

Last year, Facilities Management approached Tom Mogan, director of Student Development, as well as Jericho, with plans to install an elevator in Vasey Hall for students with disabilities.

While this construction will benefit Villanova students, it also has its downsides.

First, the construction of the elevator forced the TV station to relocate its studio to the basement of Tolentine Hall. Although the move appeared easy, technical problems began to pile up immediately, Jericho said.

“There’s an actual cable that runs from Vasey to Old Falvey, where Comcast is set up,” Jericho said. “This is where all of the shows are broadcast from. The cost to drop a line from Tolentine to Old Falvey is $4,000, which is more than what our budget would allow at the time.”

Additionally, the broadcaster used by station members is a donated piece of Comcast equipment that is nearly 15 years old.

Members of the station were given permission to set up their original system in two telephone booths in Old Falvey, which did not have electric capabilities at the time.

Since the system was nearly as old as the students attempting to program it, Comcast aided the students in their struggle.

“Ironically, even the man that finally came to help us had no idea how to fully set up the system,” Jericho said. “I don’t think the technology was too much older than he was.”

Members slowly began researching the cost and capabilities of newer technology being used by surrounding universities.

It was decided that a new automation system and broadcaster were needed in order to bring the station and the University up-to-date.

An initiative was taken to form an increased budget proposal, which resulted in a $20,000 budget allocation for WVTV.

While this initiative was a major success on the station’s road to on-air capability, there was another hurdle the TV station was not expecting.

“When the construction was completed in Vasey, we still thought we were going to be placed back in our original location,” Jericho said. “However, our studio, which was originally three separate rooms, – was made into one room that was literally smaller than a walk-in closet.”

The reduced space was not sufficient for the station to function properly. Since then, Room 16 of Tolentine Hall has been permanently allotted to WVTV. But, a $20,000 allowance and new working space have left students and the administration confident in the future of the station.

The automation system will allow the students and program director to schedule programs in a less hands-on approach, while the broadcaster will allow live broadcasts from anywhere on campus,” Jericho said.

While the administration is still considering which systems to purchase, it is certain that the station can look forward to major improvements in several aspects of the station very soon.

The ability to film live lectures, commencement exercises and large campus events will allow Villanovans all over campus to be connected in yet another way, which is the goal the station set out to achieve, according to Jericho.

“If we hadn’t been asked to relocate, we wouldn’t be off the air,” Jericho added. “We didn’t have enough time to make arrangements, so the move was certainly the catalyst for the problems.”

WVTV’s official reappearance may occur as soon as the spring of 2007.