The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday June 27th

Union votes to split room being used as Student Television studio

Student TV's space in the Union is being downsized due to Union renovations. This is their  current space.
Buy Photos Student TV's space in the Union is being downsized due to Union renovations. This is their current space.

Despite pleas from members of Student Television, the Carolina Union Board of Directors voted Monday to split a multipurpose room that the organization has been using as a studio.

STV presented its case against the renovation of the room at the meeting of the Union’s board of directors Monday.

Now, STV will be guaranteed a portion of the room reserved only for its use.

Station manager Sydney Holt opposed renovations, citing a $30,000 investment from STV to make the multipurpose room a working studio.

“The smaller studio size also presents a problem with STV’s planned conversion to high-definition video equipment,” she said.

“The loss of space would cancel out all the money and work that Student Television has put into making this a functional television studio.”

The decision to split the room was unanimous but difficult, said Mary Cooper, student body president.

The Union will allot 35 percent of room 1505 to STV, which will still have one of the largest student organization spaces in the Union, Cooper said.

The renovation became necessary after the UCommons referendum, or phase two of Union renovations, was not approved last year.

When students voted down renovations, the marketing and design department was left without a permanent home.

The Union was then forced to work with the existing space and budget already approved for phase one of renovations.

“We decided to split the multipurpose room because we felt that that would benefit most students,” said president of the Carolina Union Activities Board Cierra Hinton.

Don Luse, director of the Union, said the renovations are being made to best serve the majority of the student body.

The marketing and design department has experienced rapid growth in recent years, which necessitates a permanent workspace, he said.

Luse said he does not think STV is extremely inconvenienced.

“We don’t think it totally destroys STV’s ability to do what they’ve been doing,” Luse said.

Dakota Williams, former student body treasurer and a member of the Union’s board, agreed.

“This does not destroy STV by any means,” he said.

“It’s not the best solution, but it’s also not the end of the world for anyone involved.”

Luse said the money to renovate the room was already approved as part of the phase one of Union renovations. No additional student fees will fund the project.

Hinton said she expected STV to be satisfied with the adjustment.

“STV and the Union have historically had a great relationship, and we thought that offering them a dedicated studio as well as dedicated office space in the building would please them,” Hinton said.

The renovations will begin in spring 2012 and should finish before the fall semester, Luse said.

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