HSU Oracle: Residence Life Cinema
The channel, officially titled “Residence Life Cinema” is available through any cable TV on-campus, including dorm rooms. Students living in the Whispering Oaks Apartments will also be able to enjoy the new movie programming.
To get access to the movies rights, Henderson teamed up with “Swank Motion Pictures”, signing a 3-year contract. This new program comes at no cost to the students, and is funded out of the Dean of Students Office.
Cris McGough, director of residence life, will run the operation from his office. McGough was originally approached for the idea by Chad Fielding, dean of students. “This was his baby,” said McGough.
“If we can provide movies for students for free, how could they not be excited?” said Fielding. “I know if I lived on campus, which I have, I would love this program.”
A wide range of films will be shown, both old and new, anywhere from G-rated to R-rated. However, Fielding stated he will be making sure newly-release movies will make up the majority of the content. DVDs released on Tuesdays can be shown on the channel as early as Tuesday night.
Austin Walker, OBU junior and Christian studies major, sees himself taking advantage of the program. “I’m over there pretty often,” said Walker.
The Residence Life Cinema programming will call channel 21 it’s new home. This replaces the old “Henderson Information” programming. Televisions in buildings such as the Garrison Center used to rely the announcement channel to convey news to students. There will be a new announcement system in place soon.
The movies run in 2-hour blocks, beginning every day at 10 a.m. “We are trying to keep it pretty consistent so movies start on the hour,” said Fielding. The movies end at 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with all other nights ending at midnight. “Right now it’s daytime and prime time” said McGough, “that could change”.
To maintain this tight schedule, non-movie content will need to fill the left-over minutes between each film, such as “Laundry 101” and “Campus Safety”.
McGough made it clear that they hope the students will help select the movies. There is not a system currently in place to facilitate any kind of suggesting or voting.
Taylor Loy, sophomore political science major, suggests there should be a democratic voting process. Loy founds his democratic process on a weekly online poll.
The voting process will be the secret to success, voting on movies within a system of genres. “This way, each type of movie gets played throughout the day and it doesn’t turn into a blow-em up movie channel,” one student said, “there is something for everyone”.
During the first trial weekend, some quality loss was visible on the channel. Fielding said they are they are working on making it a better signal. “Hopefully it will look like any other channel on your television,” said Fielding.
Aubrey Elliott, OBU freshman and instrumental music education major, wishes that her university across the ravine would adopt a similar program. “It would be great to get to see movies other than those that I own,” said Elliott.
The movie schedule will be displayed in between films, as well as printed to be distributed to all dormitory front desks.
“We will still be doing the Friday night movies in the Garrison,” said Fielding, “Nothing will change about that”.
Students will be able to save money by avoiding the movie rental store, but the system has gotten partial negative feedback. One student was concerned that the new program could “negatively affect academic proficiency”. Others welcome the new free movies with open remote-control palms, looking forward to friends coming over to watch newly-released movies.
“I love to watch movies. I especially would love to watch new movies that I didn’t have to pay for,” said Fielding. “If you are sitting in your room with nothing to do at least there are movies available for you to watch.”