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Volume CXXXIII, Number 10
November 21, 2003

BCN slated to add plasma screen to Smith Union

For those of you who don't have enough distractions to keep you from studying for that psych exam or writing that English paper, there's a new one you can add to the list: the addition of a 32-inch plasma TV in Smith Union starting at the beginning of next semester.

The project, directed by the Bowdoin Cable Network (BCN) General Manager Steve Gogolak '05, originated during a meeting between Gogolak and Mitch Davis, the college's Chief Information Officer.

"We were trying to find a better way for the campus to communicate," explained Gogolak, "one that had never been tried before."

With the replacement of the BCN's slide-show message board with an all-video solution and the overload of mass e mails that students are receiving, Gogolak and Davis decided it was time to try something new: students and departments put together their own commercials to be shown on the screen.

"I saw this as an opportunity to offer something different," noted Gogolak, "something that people will hopefully enjoy and also learn from."

The signal for the screen will be sent out over the campus cable system through the creation of a second cable channel, resulting in the creation of "BCNews." The plasma TV will show this channel continuously, which is currently a 25-minute loop, but could grow to be an hour.

"The beauty of the distribution," explained Gogolak "is that adding other screens on campus is as easy as plugging them into any campus cable jack and that students can tune in to the channel in their own rooms."

BCN will pay for the required playing hardware. The SAFC is reviewing the request for funding of the required fiber hardware for creating the second channel, and IT will provide the screen and pay for installation costs.

According to Gogolak, the BCN is putting few limits on what can be advertised: "We will be looking for anything from Res Life to put up break housing notices, to Dining Services announcing special hours or a closed dining hall, to a sports team that wants to promote a big game to a college house advertising a party."

The opportunity for off-campus advertising will be looked into for the 2004-2005 academic year.

"If people are interested in advertising, they can e-mail bcn@bowdoin.edu," noted Gogolak. "We are looking to have a solid lineup of ads to start off the second semester and want to get people in the know."

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