MCTV Rebuilds for the New Academic Year

By Nicole Fitzsimmons, News Editor

The Manhattan College television station, also known as MCTV, is building itself back following challenges during the height of the pandemic. 

MCTV is a student-run club on campus that produces original shows for the Manhattan College community to enjoy. As of last year, the members produced a podcast in collaboration with the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center to discuss social issues and raise awareness on campus.

Currently, the members want to expand their productions and give the MC community more content to enjoy this year.

Maeve Kirk, senior communications major with a concentration in media production, is the president of MCTV and is looking towards getting freshmen involved in these new productions and teaching new members the skills to contribute.

“My main goal this year is to really get the freshmen involved to teach them how to do the switcher, how to operate cameras or the audio parts- just the basic essentials of a television studio,” Kirk said.

MCTV has recently received pitches for future production ideas like a comedy skit which also discusses news taking place in the city, which is set to be produced this year.

Cam Alfaro, senior communication major with concentrations in media production and sports media, is the studio supervisor of MCTV. Alfaro believes joining MCTV provides a community for those pursuing a degree in media production to learn and be creative with new ideas outside the classroom.

“It just connects communication majors because we’re together in a more comfortable environment than like sitting in class,” Alfaro said.

Chair of the communication department and faculty supervisor of MCTV, Michael Grabowski, Ph.D., believes that MCTV also provides a learning community for those who are not in the communication department because of the recent increased importance of video.

“So really, no matter what your major is, or what school you’re in, given that in every profession video is becoming necessary,” Grabowski said. “We were all mini producers on Zoom for the last two years, and the need to promote our content and figure out how to capture our content so we can share it with other people, that’s a skill that everyone can benefit from. So the more practice you get in that, the better. But also, productions need your expertise no matter what school you’re in.”

Before joining Manhattan College, Grabowski was the manager of NYU TV, the television center at NYU. Upon becoming the faculty adviser of MCTV in 2015, Grabowski wanted to expand the opportunities given to the group.

Currently, MCTV is not officially registered as a club on campus, which affects their ability to receive fundings. While the members have access to the Sumner Redstone Television Production Center in Leo Hall, when it is not in use for courses, there are still issues in organizing the members.

 “So attendance was definitely a struggle last year, but we’re trying to rebuild it from the bottom. Because, you know, it’s hard without a budget, and there’s certain things that we would like to do that we necessarily can’t sometimes,” Kirk said.

Grabowski states his role supervising is to eliminate obstacles for MCTV to assist them in their growth.

“I really applaud them for being able to do as many productions as they did after not being able to do them for about a year and a half,” Grabowski said. “So this year, I’m hoping that they grow, that they expand those offerings, that they continue doing the successful shows they have been doing, and to offer new content that they can produce.”

Kirk encourages any students considering joining the club to attend a meeting and start somewhere, even if you do not have much experience in media production.

“I was so nervous freshman year…because when you walk into a TV studio for the first time, it’s so intimidating,” Kirk said. “But I even sent out in the first emails: don’t be nervous or discouraged, even if you haven’t even touched a camera. I was like, that was me, but you have to learn somehow, and this is like the perfect opportunity to really just get that hands-on experience without the immense pressures.”

MCTV’s first meeting will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14 in Leo Hall 231, for those who are interested in gaining hands-on experience in media production and to engage with creating content on campus in the studio.

“I think MCTV brings a visibility to everything going on campus that that the ability to capture what is happening, the documentary or journalism side of things, and to be creative and do things in the video medium that you wouldn’t be able to do in print form… that you could actually produce something and put it out there,” Grabowski said.