Admin releases standards for SRTV return

    Acting Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life Gary R. Ratcliff has outlined the minimum standards the A.S. Council must meet before the administration returns control of Student-Run Television to the student government.

    “Progress in instituting these conditions will result in the activation of the cable and internet signal to the television station,” Ratcliff stated in a document sent to A.S. President Christopher Sweeten.

    SRTV co-Manager Andrew Tess said that the ultimatum was not only vague, but reiterated actions that the station already practiced.

    “What does ‘progress’ even mean?” he said.

    Tess questioned the legality of one of the standards, which requires a “Program Review Board” to approve programming before it airs.

    Aside from dealing with administrative orders, Sweeten is still moving forward with a special election, forced by a petition signed by over 2,600 students. Sweeten certified the petition earlier this week, and plans to bring the petition to a vote, which could overturn the council’s decisions to ban sexual forms of nudity and John Muir College senior Steve York from the station.

    A.S. Commissioner of Student Advocacy Travis Silva has decided not to pursue a grievance that would have addressed concerns of students who were “harassed” by gatherers of the petition.

    The grievance would have been filed with the A.S. Judicial Board if enough students were willing to testify to intimidation tactics on the part of petition gatherers, Silva said.

    Silva denied any conflict of interest, a topic brought up by several councilmembers, between his position as student advocate and a member of the A.S. Council. However, former Student Advocate Denis Shmidt disagreed that the position could not legislate when necessary.

    “Student advocates do what is in the best interest of the students,” Shmidt said. “I don’t believe this is in any way illegal. People may debate whether or not it’s right, but it’s not illegal.”

    York said that allegations of misconduct are the result of a personal vendetta by Silva.

    “Travis Silva is simply acting as the judge, clerk, jury and trainer of the courts. It’s just another attempt for A.S. to get in the way of democracy,” York said.

    In addition, the Judicial Board will hear other grievances, filed separately by John Muir College senior Steve York and Earl Warren College senior Daniel Watts, who both accuse the council of misconduct in passing legislation that banned York and sexual forms of nudity from the station.

    At the Nov. 9 council meeting, Watts presented the council with the aforementioned petition, which mandated that the election be held within 15 academic days.

    York’s grievance, designed to invalidate the Oct. 23 special meeting in which the pornography ban was passed, and the subsequent amendments to the SRTV charter, has yet to be ruled on. However, it does not address the council’s decision to ban York and “Koala TV” from the SRTV station.

    As for Watts, his request for a temporary restraining order against the A.S. Council from handling affairs related to SRTV was denied. However, he said he does not view the rejection as a major setback to his goal of overturning the council’s decisions.

    “The petition and special election [keep] A.S. from doing anything else related to SRTV,” Watts said. “So, the denial of the order doesn’t really matter, because they accomplish the same thing.”

    However, Silva views Watts’ claim in a different light.

    “The A.S. Judicial Board found that Watts’ complaint had no probable cause of being true and declined to issue a temporary restraining order,” Silva said. “I am confident that the Judicial Board will continue to show the student body that A.S. is acting both according to its rules and acting to keep SRTV on the air.”

    The Judicial Board will hear another grievance by Watts, where he claims that the station was illegally shut down by the council. The open hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.

    In addition, the council appointed several members to the SRTV Task Force, which will rewrite the station’s charter, including Shmidt, Vice President of Academic Affairs Harry Khanna, Revelle Senior Senator Rachel Corell and Muir Junior Senator Adam Grant.

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