SRTV Task Force Ready For 'Hardball'

Administrators will put a revised draft of the Student-Run Television charter under scrutiny this week in their first negotiations with members of the new SRTV task force, who will try to find a compromise on differing philosophies to bring the station back on-air.

The administration and SRTV have presented conflicting ideas for the future of the station, including opposite opinions about revisions to the station’s charter that could prohibit “graphical depictions of sexual activity involving nudity.”

While SRTV managers and supporters have long opposed the ban, acting Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life Gary R. Ratcliff has said he requires the provision to be included in the charter for the station to be reactivated.

John Muir College Junior Senator and task force member Adam Grant stated in an e-mail that the task force is “in a very interesting spot with regards to the administration” because of the special election, in which students threw out a council decision to ban sexual nudity on the station. Still, there is no guarantee that administrators will go along with the student vote, Grant indicated.

“As a member of the SRTV task force, I think it is too early to tell where this will go,” Grant stated. “We are set to meet with members of the administration … to discuss exactly where we stand in the process. Until we present the revised charter to them, and explain to them how [our] hands are tied concerning the ban on pornography, it would be premature of me to guess the outcome.”

Because students overturned the decisions of the A.S. Council banning sexual nudity, John Muir College alumnus Steve York and “Koala TV” from the station, the council cannot, according to its own bylaws, reintroduce any legislation on the issue for at least one year.

The condition, which Ratcliff has called “untenable,” could make the university liable to a slew of questionable programming.

The university owns Triton Cable, through which the station’s signal runs, and until the ban is incorporated into the charter, SRTV will remain off the air, according to Ratcliff.

Some task force members don’t see university control the same way. Students should resolve the current SRTV conflict, and administrators are only making the issue more difficult, according to Revelle College Senior Senator and task force member Rachel Corell.

“The administration says it’s a student issue, but it took [SRTV] away from us,” Corell said. “It could care less about this election; it has its own agenda.”

The special election results should force the university to reconsider its demands, since it has long held onto the argument that students do not want pornography on their station, according to A.S. Vice President of Academic Affairs and task force member Harry Khanna.

“I have a good feeling,” Khanna said. “The special election results kick the legs out of one of the university’s main arguments. We will sit down and reach a compromise that’s in the best interests of both the students and the university.”

The student vote gives the task force a large bargaining chip it should use with administrators, according to York.

“I think they need to start playing hardball,” York said.

Both Corell and Khanna said that the task force has several “ideas” regarding a compromise between the university and SRTV, but neither would elaborate.

However, many student parties are optimistic about negotiations, and say that an agreement will be reached soon.

“One way or another, we’ll see a solution by the end of the quarter,” Station co-Manager Andrew Tess said.

Corell, who also said that she was happy that students voted to overturn the legislation, voiced a similar confidence.

“Things are going to happen,” she said. “We’re going to get SRTV back.”