Operating on an annual budget of $5,000, Anteater TV only has one paid staff member and numerous volunteers to produce shows on the Associated Students of UC Irvine-sponsored Web site. ASUCI president Carlos Feliciano hopes to increase the budget in the future in order to expand programming and services.
Feliciano sees the expansion of Anteater TV, and its budget, as necessary to meet the growing needs of the campus.
‘The Web site has the ability to help students show their alternative media productions to a broader audience, advertise and inform people of events going on,’ Feliciano said.
Despite the lack of pay, volunteers work in order to maintain Anteater TV. Feliciano hopes that a budget increase will enable compensation for the volunteers.
‘Lots of volunteers want to work more but can’t afford to,’ Feliciano said. ‘By being able to pay these talented people, we can keep them.’
With increased staff support, Anteater TV will provide more services for students.
‘My desire is to expand Anteater TV to better meet the needs of students and to do so requires increasing the budget,’ Feliciano said.
According to Feliciano, costs for Anteater TV can accumulate to a large sum.
‘Camera, lighting, sound equipment, special effects room, computer with editing software and paying staff can add up to over a couple thousand dollars,’ Feliciano said. ‘Currently, ASUCI does not own the rights to Anteater TV’s Web site and is paying for its use. At the end of the year we plan on purchasing the Web site which will cost about $2,000.’
In a partnership with Student Housing, ASUCI will control the preview channel and will feature student ads as a free service. Any student group can apply to submit an ad through Anteater TV’s redesigned Web site. The new Web site and television ads will be available by the end of the quarter or the start of spring quarter.
‘There is no way we can do this with the current budget,’ Feliciano said. ‘We need to pay to screen ads and hire digital arts people to make nice ads for clubs who can’t [on their own].’
The new Web site will also feature student video projects and provide campuswide exposure.
‘This is open to all students who make a movie or video project. We are partnered with the Zot Film Festival and will feature videos on the Web site,’ Feliciano said. ‘It will be a hub for all video media on the campus.’
The Anteater TV Web site will include photos of past ASUCI events. They will be accompanied by recap videos.
‘Not everyone goes to ASUCI events, so we’re putting some of our events online for people to see,’ Feliciano said.
Anteater TV is no longer able to offer full-length footage of UCI athletic games due to hiring of a third party to film games. The Web site now provides short focuses on game highlights, athlete profiles and coach interviews.
Anteater TV short films have improved noticeably in quality. Rather than ripping off MTV shows, informative video clips are available. High quality videos that promote clubs are on the Web site. And currently, there is a Zot Guide featuring 24-hour dining options for students with a tight wallet.
The proposed budget increase for Anteater TV will be decided by the new ASUCI executive council officers at the end of spring quarter when they will also vote and distribute funds to other campus organizations that seek funding.
Aaron Abajian, a second-year computer science and engineering and mathematics double major, has reservations toward increasing the Anteater TV budget.
‘I’ve never really watched Anteater TV.’ Abajian said. ‘I’d be all right with funding Anteater TV if it helps student life on campus, but not if it functions merely as an entertainment organization. There are plenty of great shows on regular TV to distract me from school and I don’t need a campus-funded organization distracting me from my studies.’