Union TVs get interactive

Matt Clark and Matt Clark

The six television monitors in the Bowen Thompson Student Union’s Falcon’s Nest dining center, in place since the end of the spring semester, will soon get a little more interactive.

Student organizations wishing to have special programming in the Falcon’s nest can use the televisions to do so starting in the fall.

“They are all going to be available for programs, it would just depend on when they wanted to do it and how many TV’s would be needed,” Union director Mary Edgington said.

Edgington also said that students wanting certain channels to be on the televisions may submit a request, or fill out a questionnaire.

“We are listening if people have thoughts about what they would like to see,” Edgington said. “They can fill out a questionnaire, or write down their opinions and give it to the information desk.”

The televisions have been used to display programming such as the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan, but will soon be used to cover major weather alerts, among other things.

According to Edgington, the televisions are meant to be an information piece, whether the information is local, national, or international news and events.

“Most people have indicated that they want news, weather, sports and music,” Edgington said. “So we decided to go with what the majority requested.”

There is also a plan to use the televisions for the Union’s Videonet, a campus news and events channel. Edgington encourages student organizations to use the Videonet as an announcement tool.

When the televisions were first introduced, their volume filled the Falcon’s Nest with noise, but that has been corrected through the use of close captioning.

“We did decide to have them silent with closed caption, because we don’t want to take away the ambience of being able to have conversation in the nest, and studying,” Edgington said.

The televisions were purchased through the Auxillary Improvement Project, a capital improvements fund. According to Edgington, the money for the televisions was set aside for quite some time.

Some University students have welcomed the televisions into the nest with open wings.

“The TV’s are an excellent addition to the Union,” John Zackel said. “Whether I am doing homework or checkin’ out the ladies, I can watch the news… or the local sports game.”

Anna Novozhilova agreed. “Yes, I like the fact that they are here, because they have different channels,” she said. “They have the news on them and most people don’t even bother to watch the news when they are in their dorm room.”