York banned from SRTV

In response to the recent airing of pornography on Student-Run Television, the A.S. Council has banned “Koala TV” producer and John Muir College senior Steve York from the station’s premises and forbidden SRTV from further airings of any “Koala TV” material.

Citing the show’s violation of the recently amended SRTV charter, which bans “graphic depiction of sexual activity, including nudity,” the council passed legislation to formally enforce the amendment and denounce the pornographic airing in a 17-0-1 vote.

According to the bill, the SRTV managers are to “actively enforce [the] order of the council,” contrary to the content-neutral stance backed by SRTV co-Manager Andy Tess in the management’s role in program production.

“Under duress, the SRTV managers will comply with the bill passed by the A.S. Council,” Tess said.

York said his second porn airing — feauturing the overlaid face of Thurgood Marshall College Senior Senator Kate Pillon — did not violate regulations because A.S. President Christopher Sweeten had not formally signed the nudity ban by the Oct. 27 broadcast.

“That is a moot point,” A.S. Commissioner of Student Advocacy Travis Silva said at the Nov. 2 A.S. Council meeting. Silva argued that the nudity prohibition was technically adopted earlier this month, during a special council session on Oct. 23. However, several councilmembers had previously raised questions over the counstitutionality of the hastily arranged meeting.

Silva also sponsored the most recent bill, which was borne out of Marshall senators’ personal vendetta against the Koala, according to York.

York added he has been seeking consultation from several “high-profile” advocacy groups, in case he wishes to pursue legal action against the council. Such action may be at hand, with the council’s decision to ban York and “Koala TV” members from the station’s premises.

“The straw on the camel’s back has been broken,” he said.

Along with expelling York and his show, the bill also gave Commissioner of Student Services Maurice Junious the ultimate authority to enforce the legislation. In addition, the council created an ad hoc task force to “reassess the SRTV purpose” as well as to revise the ambiguities of the station’s charter regarding the manager’s role in censoring content. In its current form, the charter dictates that managers are to “[address] concerns and requests of directors, producers, administration and the student body,” but no provision describes how this is to be done.

The managerial role has been heavily debated in past council meetings, with members of both the council and SRTV discussing how the station’s managers are supposed to handle questions over content appropriateness.

The A.S. Council passed a “Media Service Grievance Procedure” in April, which prescribed to SRTV officials a structured course of action for how to handle complaints, with unresolved issues to come in front of the all-campus judicial board. However, there was no mention of this procedure at the Nov. 2 meeting.

In response to past concerns that legislation restricting SRTV content was “reactionary,” Silva said York’s violation of the charter made it necessary to pass the bill.

“I embrace the idea that this is reactionary,” Silva said. “It is a reaction to a violation of our rules. We ought to react when our rules are violated.”

Although the A.S. Council banned York and “Koala TV” from SRTV, they did not vote to limit SRTV from airing all live programs, as was proposed in a resolution by Eleanor Roosevelt College Senior Senator Ashton Iranfar.

“Tomorrow, someone could walk into SRTV and air a tape of offensive material on their live show, and there is nothing in the charter stopping them,” Iranfar said.

However, the council tabled the resolution indefinitely, as well as a resolution condemning York and his Stevie Why Productions for not using prophylactics during the production of his video.

While the possibility of “Koala TV” airing another pornographic show has been eliminated, York warns that the battle over censorship on SRTV is not necessarily over. Pressure from administration and national media attention rushed the council into an unwise decision, York said.

“I wish I could make up the rules as I go along,” he said. “This was hasty, to bring an item like this up and make a decision on it in one day.”