When asking the typical college student to list their top five television stations, MTV usually places high in the rankings. The popular music television station largely appeals to the high school and college generations, covering a variety of topics including music, entertainment, dating, spring break, etc. As if they’re not popular enough, on January 20 the network launched a brand-new channel, mtvU.Formally known as CTN: the College Television Network, mtvU is exclusively devoted to college students, and every aspect of college life. The channel boasts an impressive three-pronged system: “On-air, online, & on-cam-pus.” Van Toffler, President of MTV, MTV2, and mtvU, states that “mtvU won’t just be TV, we’re going to be a resource for students’ lives, everywhere they are, when they’re in their dorm rooms, surfing the net, or walking across campus.”
The television station itself, which currently reaches over 720 college campuses across the country, will focus on introducing new music to university students. Toffler claims that “The majority of mtvU’s programming will continue to be short form to accommodate the fast-paced, hectic nature of college life.”
“The Cut” is a stamp that will spotlight new artists who are pop-ular on university grounds. These stamps of success are currently held by artists including Howie Day, Atmosphere, Death Cab for Cutie, and Dizzie Rascal.
Other college-termed programs include “The Freshman,” featuring brand new music; and “Dean’s List,” a “TRL” spin-off, counting down the top ten, fan rated videos. This show ties in the online aspects of mtvU by allowing college viewers to log on and vote for their favorite artists.
As for the on-campus mtvU features, the network is focused on providing new and unique opportunities for students. The “You Want It, You Got It,” contest allows random winners to pick their prize anything from a new car with free gas, to a year’s worth of paid tuition.
“Stand In” will bring celebrity icons to the classroom level. Up-coming “professors of the day” include Marilyn Manson, Pulitzer prize winner Frank McCourt, and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. Along with these famed visitors, mtvU VJs will travel the country, broadcasting live from connected universities.
In addition to music, entertain-ment, contests, and social events, mtvU will also deliver hourly news updates (in correlation with CBS news) and encourage political involvement among students. In pursuit of these objectives, mtvU will partner with Rock the Vote, the National Campus Voter Registration Project, the United States Student Association, and Project Vote Smart. Stephen Friedman, the General Manager of mtvU emphasizes the stations goal of getting at least 20 million young adults ages 18 to 30 to vote in the 2004 election. “Choose or Lose on mtvU is customized for them and we will work to give them the access they need to make their voices heard.”
Here at West Chester University, access to mtvU is found only in selected areas, including the lounge spaces of Sykes Student Union. However, at many close-by campuses, including East Stroudsburg University, Elizabethtown College, St. Joseph’s University and Penn State, this station is provided throughout the entire television network. For more information on this new station, and how to get our cam-pus further connected, log on to www.mtvu.com or www.collegetelevision.com.
Altogether, mtvU is a cross-curricular channel keyed towards every aspect of university life. As said by Friedman, “mtvU will be all about U, the university but more importantly U, the student.