ASUCD leaders look to restructure AggieTV
ASUCD has been looking to restructure AggieTV to make the unit more usable for student groups and more profit-driven. Originally created in 2002 as a marketing device for ASUCD through Creative Media, AggieTV will soon evolve to focus more on services that it can provide for student organizations on campus, according to student government. After a holistic rebranding, the unit will be renamed Aggie Studios.
According to AggieTV Unit Director Ruben Rojas, the traditional role of AggieTV on campus has been to generate revenue for ASUCD through client projects. Some of these projects have included work for The American Red Cross, UC Davis Police Department and UC Davis Theater and Dance. The restructuring of the unit would lead to a larger focus on the business side of AggieTV.
According to ASUCD senator Alex Lee, ASUCD is looking to change the unit to have it provide video and photography services to students. ASUCD Vice President Maxwell Kappes said that these services would include photography/videography for student events, graduation photos, Greek-system composites and promotion videos for student clubs.
“When they are actually providing these direct services that us as students can utilize it not only makes it so that they’re contributing more to the association by making more money and being financially stable, but also providing more services for students,” Kappes said.
Lee added that there has been a “perceived priority problem” between AggieTV and ASUCD leadership in recent years.
“AggieTV has focused less so on marketing the association and more so on their projects and their experiences and their news goals than originally,” Lee said.
Both Kappes and Lee said that restructuring the unit to make it more business-like would allow AggieTV to continue marketing the association but also be used by students from all parts of the campus.
AggieTV has also traditionally been a resource for students who hope to gain experience in broadcasting, videography and photography. Rojas hopes that students involved in AggieTV can still obtain that same experience despite the restructuring of the unit.
“We will be working together more and making a bigger impact on UC Davis and the community as a result,” Rojas said. “This does not mean we will stop giving our staff the opportunity to work on content videos.”
To go along with the more business-like model of the unit, both Kappes and Lee said that the unit would be rebranded as well. The name “Aggie Studios” was thought of in an effort to better encompass the services that the unit would be providing. According to Kappes, this was an idea that he and ASUCD president Armando Figueroa adopted as part of their platform when they ran as executive candidates last winter. Before them, executive candidates Paul Min and Sergio Cano had the idea to restructure AggieTV during their campaign in Winter 2013.
“This idea has been bounced around a lot, but now we are actually making tangible steps towards getting it done,” Kappes said.
The restructuring would require more funding for the unit to enhance photography and videography equipment; however, how the unit will receive this funding is still to be determined.
“It’s a one time expenditure that will hopefully lead to years of savings,” Kappes said.
According to Kappes, ASUCD is looking to create a large monetary investment in the unit to further develop the necessary technology and to ensure that the unit can adequately provide its intended services with quality. After this investment, ASUCD leaders are hoping that AggieTV’s subsidy drops significantly. AggieTV’s subsidy for the 2014-2015 school year is $11,188.
“You have to spend money to make money,” Lee added.
Rojas is overall in favor of restructuring the unit for the benefit of the students involved and for the rest of the campus community. Students on campus will benefit from more live streams for online viewing and students involved in the unit will have more opportunities to work on projects that they are particularly interested in for their professional careers.
“For our staff this means they will still be able to work on ‘passion projects’ related to the field they are most interested in pursuing after college,” Rojas said. “The new business ventures we will be undertaking will not only help ASUCD but they will also prepare our staff for future jobs in the filmmaking industry.”
ASUCD is looking to finalize the restructuring process by the next academic year.
Graphic by Jennifer Wu