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Volume 71, Issue 148, Thursday, July 6, 2006

News

Channel 6 slated for an overhaul

UH's closed-circuit channel revamps its structure, expands with original programming

by Johnny Peña
The Daily Cougar

Channel 6, or the Student Video Network, is revamping its TV lineup to bring students original programming for the first time this summer.

Before this change, the only thing on-campus viewers have been able to watch recently was movies the network had rights to and campus safety videos.

Equilibrium, a 15-episode series, will be the station's first project and is scheduled to air before the end of the summer. The drama will center on a group of young people and how 9/11 changed their lives and affected their relationships.

"It's going to follow the lives of five college students with most of them being Indian or Pakistani ethnicity, and then after 9/11 it will show how they feel about it. It's going to be pretty tense, but it's about what some students go through here," Gus Forward, a Channel 6 host, said.

The second show slated for late summer is a one-on-one talk show titled Cougar Chat hosted by Forward. The show will feature interviews with alumni, faculty and students.

"It's going to be a great opportunity to hear stories from alumni -- how they got started, what organizations they were part of and what obstacles they had to overcome," Forward said.

A documentary by a group of students is also scheduled to be part of the new listings. The documentary will follow students forming a rock band.

Channel 6, which is funded in part by student fees, has experienced a low-profile existence since its inception about a decade ago, Forward said.

One reason for its relative obscurity is that Channel 6 is a closed-circuit broadcast available only to student housing television, Forward said.

"Students aren't aware of Channel 6. One of the reasons is because only about eight percent live on campus; the rest commute to campus. And since it is only broadcast on campus, a lot of people don't know about it. The people who do watch it don't realize (we) are a network because they see only old movies on air," Forward said.

To help spread the word about Channel 6 and to acquire useful information, the station is going to conduct surveys around campus. The station will get an idea of what students want to see on television, Forward said.

"Right now we are trying to make it something that is a strong resource here at UH," Forward said.

"We are trying to restructure everything from our funding, our shows and the people around us," he said.

"Students can benefit from watching Channel 6 because they can become a part of a growing campus community, Forward said.

"Students have the opportunity to interact with (Channel 6). They want to get involved and contribute. They can gain experience and build up their résumé. As we get bigger, (students' interest) will get bigger," Forward said.

The station is also an outlet for students to voice their beliefs and ideas to a wide audience.

"Everyone wants to be on TV, whether or not they admit it. So for some people, it's that childhood dream of being on TV. But now it could be promoting something they believe in, and Channel 6 is the best way to do it on campus," Forward said.

Student organizations can use the station as a way to promote their group to potential members.

"What organizations can benefit from is that they can get the word out about their organization. A lot of people, when they first get here they don't know where to start. They have a lot of options. So with the station they have the chance to introduce themselves to the students by providing their mission statement and other information about the organization," Forward said.

Thus far, there is no set schedule for the coming original programming. For more information, visit www.uh.edu/svn/.
 

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