Since the fall of 2004, the Center for Global Initiatives has been working to expand the College's international cable lineup, and thanks to the efforts of many constituencies on campus, 16 international channels are now available on any campus television that has cable access. The added programming--from African Independent TV to Sony Television Asia to Al Jazeera--means that international students can stay in touch with what's going on in their native country; students studying foreign languages can get listening practice 24 hours a day; and classes involving international studies have an additional resource to use in the classroom.
"We decided it was important to have access to many different global perspectives," said dean of international students Donna Van Handle, who played a large role in the project. "It's great because students can watch in the comfort of their dorm, and it's also easier for faculty to assign shows to watch."
The channels are received via two satellites on campus through an arrangement with GlobeCast and DISH Network (two Scola channels will continue to be offered through Comcast). The Global Initiatives Student Advisory Board compiled a "wish list" of languages and channels they thought should be included in the new lineup, which may change periodically so that a complete range of languages and geographic areas are represented. FLEX (Foreign Language Executive Board) as well as other foreign language faculty members were also consulted as the channel lineup was being finalized. Programming is currently available in Spanish, Hindi, Russian, Urdu, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, French, German, Arabic, and Tagalog, among others.
Qimti Paienjton '08, from Pakistan, was most excited learn that she would be able to tune into PTV Prime, an Urdu-language station out of Pakistan. "I was extremely delighted to hear that international channels had become available. There's just something very exciting about turning on the television and hearing your own language."
For faculty, the channels will be an unlimited resource. "Aside from the obvious value of the TV channels for teaching foreign languages and cultures, they are a terrific resource for other classes as well," said Kavita Khory, associate professor of politics. "For example, my colleague Jon Western and I are teaching a new course this semester on propaganda and war. Last week we focused on the use of media and propaganda in South Asia. In that context, we could immediately refer our students to the two channels that broadcast news and current affairs programs from South Asia. Rather than talking about the role of television in South Asia in the abstract, the students could see for themselves how politics and foreign policy issues are covered by state and private television stations in the region."
"We wouldn't have been able to do this without the cooperation, funding, and technical support from several groups on campus, including the Dean of Faculty's Office, Treasurer's Office, LITS, and Card, Cable, and Telephone Services," said Van Handle.
Complete Lineup (PDF)