SRTV’s decision to show porn a mistake

    While in line with legal requirements and free speech protections, the choice by Koala editor in chief and A.S. Elections Manager Steve York to broadcast pornography was unfortunate.

    At issue is not indecency — York was well within his rights — but a lack of savvy and strategic decisionmaking. Coming at a time when the university is in the process of determining its role in oversight of student television, the video sends a message of confrontation that may result in a campus crackdown on student expression. It also strips Student-Run Television of much of its credibility.

    After last year’s fiasco, when campus administrators confronted SRTV about reports of questionable — but still legal — content, resulting in a temporary halt to SRTV broadcasts, the station asserted that it was possibly the victim of a break-in. At the time, current station manager Chelsea Welch said, “There is no genitalia shown on SRTV.”

    In fact, Welch had used this very argument in contesting the need for a campus committee created to draft policies governing student television stations. Despite a lack of proof other than her assertion that the station could not have broadcast porn, Welch secured $250 in funding just this month from Associated Students to pay for a security system for the station.

    As York’s video illustrates, SRTV does, in fact, show genitalia, which suggests that one of Welch’s main arguments against the committee was wholly disingenuous.

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