Syracuse University grants provisional recognition to CitrusTV
Syracuse University grants provisional recognition to CitrusTVApril 03, 2006Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Syracuse University today granted provisional recognition to the student organization that succeeds the former HillTV. The recognition makes it possible for the students to launch a new organization, which they have named CitrusTV, and to resume operations as a student-run television station.
CitrusTV will be advised by Michael Schoonmaker ’83, G’85, G’94, professor and chair of the Department of Television, Radio, and Film in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Schoonmaker, whose professional experience includes stints as a production manager for MTV and NBC’s coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics, teaches courses in television writing and production, communications and society, and communication research. Schoonmaker’s appointment as an active and engaged faculty advisor to CitrusTV has been endorsed with enthusiasm by David M. Rubin, dean of the Newhouse School.
“I am very proud of the students behind CitrusTV, particularly the way they have embraced the opportunity to grow from the experiences of the past six months,” says Schoonmaker. “I look forward to working with them as they connect their creativity into the challenge ahead–to become not only a robust student television organization, but more importantly the model for others.”
Says SU Senior Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Barry L. Wells, “The students have worked closely with the University, and have carefully considered the needs of the community, in designing their new organization. The addition of Professor Schoonmaker’s expertise will contribute to the success of CitrusTV as we workcollaboratively to foster responsiveness of the organization to the community it serves. The University is grateful to the Newhouse School and Professor Schoonmaker for supporting this strong new advising relationship.”
CitrusTV will operate under provisional recognition, a status in which recognized student organizations are subject to strict administrative supervision, until Sept. 15. During this time, CitrusTV will gain advance approval from the University to modify its bylaws, Code of Broadcast Standards, or other operating procedures and will be accorded the rights and responsibilities generally applicable to recognized student organizations. Administrative oversight during this period will be exercised by Wells. Following the successful completion of this provisional recognition period, any modifications to CitrusTV’s governing structure will be made through the same process as other recognized student organizations.
In addition, CitrusTV will function under a status of disciplinary probation through April 2, 2007. Recognized student organizations on disciplinary probation are expected to adhere strictly to the Code of Student Conduct, other University policies, and applicable laws. Failure to meet these expectations can result in loss of recognition for an indefinite period of time.
HillTV’s status as a recognized student organization was revoked by Chancellor Nancy Cantor on Oct. 20, 2005, in response to the “Over the Hill” series, in which HillTV violated SU’s Code of Student Conduct and non-discrimination policy, and the station’s own content sensitivity policy. A hearing board composed of three tenured faculty members–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–considered the case and on Nov. 30 issued their decision. In their decision (full text at http://www.syr.edu/respect/panelReport.pdf), the hearing panel required that several sanctions be met before a student-run TV station could return to recognized student organization status. Among these sanctions are:
- issuance of an apology to the campus community;
- monitoring and guidance by a faculty advisor, tenured and schooled in matters associated with broadcasting and its oversight;
- a name change, to break the association with discrimination and to signal an improved broadcasting operation;
- formation of a “Committee on Cultural Competence,” with 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; and
- amendment of the organization’s bylaws with greater attention to content sensitivity, nondiscriminatory actions and practices, and program decision-making, as well as procedures and policies for program oversight and cancellation.
Additionally, Chancellor Cantor convened two task forces, the Task Force on Student-Run Television and the Task Force on Institutional Culture at Syracuse University, to consider the issues raised by the “Over the Hill” controversy.
In the time since the revocation of HillTV’s status as a recognized student organization, Andrew Robinson, general manager of the University’s Orange Television Network (OTN), has managed Watson Studios and worked with the students previously involved with HillTV to create and review programming that could be shown on OTN. The University’s granting of provisional recognition to CitrusTV results from the new organization’s compliance with all of the hearing panel’s sanctions. Also considered were CitrusTV’s efforts to incorporate the input of the Task Force on Student-Run Television into its plans, a process that is expected to continue during the provisional recognition period.