Geneseo Student Television faces budget setbacks, seeks department support

Geneseo Student Television has been unable to broadcast live for over a year after Campus Auxiliary Services forgot to include a station for the organization. GSTV has lost commercial-driven profit as a result, which has caused Student Association—the organization that funds GSTV—to cut GSTV’s budget, GSTV Treasurer senior Amanda Mclean said.

“All SA organizations are supposed to have some form of income, whether it’s through fundraising [or otherwise], and as an organization in the past we used to do a lot of commercials,” Mclean said. “That was probably our biggest source of income.”

GSTV’s main source of income for this year will be from the DVDs it produces for Orchesis and Musical Theatre Club twice a semester. It is estimated the organization will make $600 in revenue.

“It’s not as much as we’ve made previously. So [SA] really can’t do much to help us unless we’re able to get an income too, because the income is factored into our budget as well,” Mclean said.

SA has cut GSTV’s budget from $3,300 in the 2015-16 year to $2,789 for the 2016-17 academic year.

General manager of GSTV senior Daniel Foley said he believes GSTV offers a beneficial, hands-on learning experience, which should be considered more important than the revenue it generates.

“I didn’t know this was about making money. It shouldn’t really be about that,” Foley said. “It should be a learning experience for everyone that’s involved in it. So not giving us the money when we need to keep everything up-to-date counteracts what we’re trying to do.”

Geneseo’s student-run newspaper The Lamron—also SA funded—saw a slight budget increase this year. SA allocated $6,221.50 for The Lamron for the 2015-16 academic year and $6,357.10 for 2016-17—in addition to its annual income of about $20,000—bringing total current expenditures to about $26,357.

Geneseo’s radio station WGSU-FM (89.3)—academically affiliated with the communication department and licensed by the Federal Communications Commission—receives its budget from the Office of the Provost, rather than SA, WGSU-FM (89.3) Faculty Director and lecturer of communication Michael Saffran said.

WGSU’s budget for the current academic year is $11,030, not including personnel services such as salaries for the faculty director and a summer student employee, Saffran said. WGSU has no current outside revenue, according to Saffran.

While students involved in The Lamron and GSTV receive a stipend, WGSU’s student executive council is awarded academic credit for their work at the station.

Because SA funds GSTV and The Lamron, they offer an independent media voice to the campus, Saffran explained. Conversely, WGSU is managed and overseen by the communication department and has a strong academic mission, Saffran said.

Foley said he would like GSTV to become affiliated with the communication department, so the organization can begin using their recording studios in the future.

“I’ve raised the issue to Dr. Herman … I’ve told him that this club really should be working in there, that we should have a faculty adviser that is in charge of that whole studio and that can help us out,” Foley said. “He’s told me it’s something that they’ve been looking into, but obviously it’s not going to be something that any of us are going to see before we leave.”

Currently, the communication department has one adjunct lecturer—Barry Chow—who specializes in television production. Associate professor and Chair of the Communication Department Andrew Herman said he does not expect Chow to step in as GSTV’s faculty adviser since he does not work at the college full-time.

The communication department has asked the Office of the Provost for three years to hire a full-time professor to specialize in television production, but this request has been denied due to lack of funding from the state, Herman said.

Executive producer of GSTV junior Alexandra Lovric said that she thinks having a faculty adviser from the communication department would be beneficial for the future of GSTV.

“After four years, we leave and we have to pass on our knowledge to the next generation of GSTV members. When we’re not getting a ton of interest and people aren’t really devoted to the club, it’s really hard to pass on that knowledge,” she said. “It would be really nice to have someone who would always be there knowing everything and helping everyone out. I think that would help with interest and help us get the spirit back in the club.”u

Editor-in-Chief Emma Bixler contributed reporting for this article.