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HillTV hearing panel issues decision
HillTV hearing panel issues decisionNovember 30, 2005Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
A hearing panel of three tenured Syracuse University faculty members-convened Nov. 11 to consider the status of the revocation of HillTV’s recognition as a student organization-has issued its decision. The panel has found that HillTV did, indeed, violate Syracuse University’s Code of Student Conduct and other applicable policies. Based on these violations, the panel has suspended HillTV’s operations and recognition as a student organization, effective Nov. 30, through Feb. 1, 2006. The panel also ruled that HillTV’s suspension should continue until it fulfills several requirements.
These requirements are as follows:
- HillTV’s issuance of an apology to the campus community;
- a faculty advisor, tenured and schooled in matters associated with broadcasting and its oversight, will monitor and provide consistent guidance and supervision to HillTV staff;
- HillTV will be required to change its name to break its association with discrimination and to signal an improved broadcasting operation;
- The renamed organization must form a “Committee on Cultural Competence” by attracting members from all quarters of the University to assist the organization with matters of content, perspective and tone, both in terms of program development and airing decisions;
- HillTV must amend its bylaws with greater attention to content sensitivity, nondiscriminatory actions and practices, program decision-making, as well as procedures and policies for program oversight and cancellation.
The panel’s full report (PDF file) is available for review.
Chancellor Nancy Cantor on Oct. 20 revoked HillTV’s status as a recognizedstudent organization at SU in response to HillTV’s violation of SU’s Code of Student Conduct and non-discrimination policy, and the station’s own content sensitivity policy, related to the “Over the Hill” series.
Per the University’s Code of Student Judicial Procedures, the HillTV leaders had the opportunity to request a hearing on the substance of the violations that prompted Chancellor Cantor’s decision. HillTV general manager Rich Levy on Oct. 25 filed a formal hearing request with SU Dean of Students Anastasia Urtz.
Associate Provost Sandra Hurd organized a hearing panel of three tenured faculty members to consider the matter: Keith Alford, associate professor of social work in the College of Human Services and Health Professions; Lawrence Lewandowski, professor of psychology in The College of Arts and Sciences; and Frances Zollers, professor and chair of the law and public policy department in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
The hearing panel convened the morning of Nov. 11 and heard testimony through mid-afternoon. Levy and HillTV entertainment director Emily Wasco presented the HillTV case, aided by attorney David Cole, who served as the students’ procedural advisor. Eric Spina, the Douglas D. Danforth Dean of SU’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, presented the University administration’s case, with counsel from attorney Jonathan Fellows.
In the days following the hearing, the panelists deliberated and prepared a written report of their decision.
In the time since the revocation of HillTV’s status as a recognized student organization, Orange Television Network (OTN) general manager Andrew Robinson has managed the station’s studio facilities and worked with the students previously involved with HillTV to create and review programming that could be shown on OTN, available on campus cable Channel 2.