Save MUTV (Let us keep our current studio space)

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MUTV, the student-run TV station at the University of Missouri, is in a dire situation. The first week of winter break, we were told we had to move from our current studio space which was built with more than $100,00 of student money into a 200 sq. ft office that would fundamentally change MUTV’s operational capabilities. This move is slated to happen January 7.

I’m asking you to sign this petition to show you support MUTV keeping our current space and honor the current agreement of the space for the end of the next school year. We will be delivering this petition to the chancellor.

MUTV was founded in 1998 and our mission is to create content that informs and engages our audience and to create a positive learning environment for our staff. We cover campus news events, analyze sports games, discuss pop culture trends relevant to students and much more. More than 11,000 people follow MUTV on Facebook for our campus coverage. We’re concerned the move would jeopardize our ability to fulfill our mission.

The notification that we would be moving hit our offices during winter break and came as a surprise. Since we are student-run, the vast majority of our staff aren’t in town. Over the span of three weeks, we would need to condense our editing space, equipment storage space, sound booths, studio, control room and green room space into 200 sq. ft (the size of our current editing space). In addition, we would also need to restructure MUTV exec staff to account for the loss of our studio and become operational in the new space so we can start recruitment when school starts. Most university staff, including our adviser, are out of the office for more than half of that time.

Here’s the timeline of events:

  • December 5: Dr. Jeff Zeilenga (Dean of Students) had a meeting with MUTV’s general manager and assistant general manager. We were informed that Facilities would start charging rent for space in the Student Center. It’s not clear exactly how much this would cost but the ballpark estimate was about $40,000 - $50,000 a year. We’ve since asked for a specific number but we haven’t been given one. It became clear over the course of the meeting that Student Unions saw value in Film Crew (a live streaming service that has a close relationship with MUTV) but didn’t see as much value in MUTV. Dr. Zeilenga mentioned Film Crew and MUTV moving up to the top floor of the Student Center. We asked multiple times during the meeting about a timeline for this. We were not told this move would be happening over the break. It seemed like the beginning stages of planning because we couldn’t even properly tour the space since we were told not to draw attention to the fact that we were looking into this.
  • December 6: Met with our adviser to try to get some more guidance. We asked about the timeline again and she didn’t know. 
  • Week of finals (December 10-December 14): Met with department managers to let them know what was going on. We also talked to ORG about the process for becoming a student org. 
  • December 17: We got an email from our adviser saying the “final decision to move MUTV” was conveyed to her and that the move date is the week of January 7. For some context, MUTV’s move out of MSA happened months after we first found out about that plan.

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