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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Owl TV expands original programming to Jupiter campus

In the MLC building’s Student Government Office, junior Josh Tabor points at a corner of the room. “Yeah, right back there,” he says. That tiny spot now occupied by some fridges once housed the previous headquarters for MacArthur’s Owl TV.

The television club, while present throughout the FAU campuses and particularly at the main Boca Raton Campus, has had humble circumstances in Jupiter, as station manager Tabor can vouch. He enrolled at the Honors College with five years of experience at school TV production, but this extensive background led to rather simple surroundings: an extra room in the freshmen dorms used as a storage facility, the cameras and editing equipment donated by Boca lying alongside surplus mattresses.

Despite the lackluster environment, which did eventually get upgraded to that corner in the Student Government office, Tabor still filmed, edited, and archived any events that occurred on campus. Recent MacArthur projects include videos for admissions into graduate schools, last month’s 9/11 ceremony, and a forum presentation addressing the war in Iraq.

These accomplishments continuously improve conditions for Owl TV at MacArthur. No longer squeezed into a tight corner, Tabor is now based out of the Program Board and Recreation Office located in Student Services as his organization expands beyond categorizing footage, and matures into a part of the FAU TV network.

The University Wide Student Government has provided additional televisions to carry the channel in classrooms and buildings at MacArthur, and Tabor is waiting for the remaining installation of network ports to transmit to each TV the broadcast fed from a computer in his office. A slide show of advertisements and information, such as the day’s meals and student government announcements, will make up a majority of the broadcast day. However, when 8 p.m. hits, original programming takes over. While these are late hours, Tabor is not concerned.

“I mean, come on – 8 o’clock and after,” he says. “Most students are up ’til 3 o’clock anyway.”

MacArthur students, sitting in the comfort of the residence halls, the commuter student lounge, and other various locations throughout campus, will view previously produced FAU shows, comprised of the informative (sports and news) as well as the bizarre (past productions include a fashion show hosted by students affecting shoddy French accents and “Golf Cart Confessions,” a spoof of the HBO’s taxi reality show done with Boca’s Owl TV mode of transportation.)

The Boca Raton Owl TV organization, overseeing the development at the MacArthur Campus, “wanted to help us do more,” notes Tabor, therefore transferring equipment to MacArthur so its students could produce their own shows. Owl TV welcomes volunteers as writers and on-air talent, as well as technical workers.

“Students can come in here,” Tabor says, “learn to use the camera, learn to edit . . . learn to make their own shows.”

Lessons are Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the office that Owl TV shares with Recreation and Program Board in Student Services; appointments are walk-in, so no prior arrangements are necessary.

“I just want them to know, any idea they have, we’ll do it,” Tabor says. “They want to ride around in a golf cart, we can do it. If they want to do a talk show, we can do it. Everyone else on cable has a talk show, why can’t they?” Some rules, however, will be enforced: “I have to obey FCC regulations and good taste,” he adds.

Once enough of these productions are completed, Tabor will reimburse the Boca campus for all its assistance by sending the MacArthur shows to the other campuses for perusal. “The cool thing is we only have 2,300 students here,” Tabor says, allowing for easy recognition of one another amongst this limited group of peers. Yet he understands certain undergraduates may not feel so confident having their shenanigans televised away from this small assemblage. “They can tell me, ‘I don’t want it to air down there,’ and I won’t send it down there,” he says.

Tabor is pleased with the progress. “Everyone last year asked ‘What’s Owl TV? What’s it doing?’ I had to say, ‘Just wait.’ Now we’re seeing the fruits of our labor.”

However, he has not stopped, as he is currently developing Owl TV at the Port St. Lucie campus and seeking further growth of MacArthur’s network. “Boca manages shows all day,” he says. “I’d like to see it [MacArthur’s Owl TV] evolve past what Boca has. We’re a new school . . . we’re only five years old. And space is so limited here because we’re always expanding.”

With building construction at MacArthur underway, Tabor hopes space will be set aside for a studio for higher quality production and broadcasting. He wants the new student programs to bring larger attention to the campus; Tabor would like the general response to MacArthur to consist of more than “We have a campus in Jupiter?”

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