By Greg Clayton
Editor, the Gauntlet,
While Patti Dawkins and other NUTVers seem shocked and dismayed that I would have the nerve to present suggestions on behalf of students to the NUTV Board, I suggest students should only be shocked and concerned if I did not become involved in setting the strategic direction and providing suggestions for NUTV.
As Vice-President Operations and Finance for the Students’ Union, I have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the money students contribute through fees and levies provides value for the majority, or at least a substantial number of students. My job is also to ensure that these organizations are held accountable to the students who fund them.
In this case, I sit on the NUTV board to represent the 25,000 undergraduate students who contribute $185,000 every year to NUTV. NUTV also receives free premium studio space and continued building and infrastructure support. This is a substantial amount of money and support for students to contribute, and if they did not have voice on the board to ensure relevance and accountability they should be very concerned.
I never once suggested that NUTV does not provide value to its staff and volunteers because it most certainly does. I did however question the value that it provides students whose only exposure comes from watching closed-circuit in the food court and residence, and watching full-frontal on cable TV.
How many students who are not involved in NUTV find the closed-circuit programming you see in the food court, intriguing and interesting? Unless 5,000-10,000 would say they do, I believe there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
I am confident that if I was to ask how many students who were not involved with either the Gauntlet or CJSW, found them to be of value, I would easily get adequate positive responses.
How many students who are not involved in NUTV have watched Full Frontal, late evening three times a week on channel 78, even once? How many watch it on a regular basis? Again, I have a concern that these numbers are so dismal that students are not receiving any value for the $180,000 they contribute
It is even more absurd that some people have the nerve to suggest that I am benefiting personally from this. I am gone in seven months and can’t possibly gain anything from this–except maybe more work and a bad headache.
I have tried to continue a polite and private conversation with NUTV management and board members, and it puzzling to me that responses are so frantic and so public, let alone the personally-directed invective I receive for just trying to do my job and represent students. All students should be deeply concerned given that they own and are the only stakeholder to fund this organization.