For some Maryville College students, SWANK is a must-have commodity. The campus-based movie channel offers some of the latest blockbusters, playing them on a 24-hour schedule.
However, students could possibly see some changes to the movie channel in the coming months.
Currently, MC is deciding if and how they will renew their contract with the SWANK organization and have been seeking student input in the decision over the past few months. Although some students express contentment with the current SWANK format, for various reasons, many also miss out on the benefits on the movie channel all together.
According to MC senior Ellison Berryhill, many students, himself included, have never even turned on the movie channel.
His reason is simple: “I don’t have a television,” Berryhill said.
He is not alone.
Many college students do not bring their home televisions with them when they move on campus, and even if they do, hectic schedules often get in the way of benefiting from SWANK.
According to MC junior Kelly Blankenship, the SWANK schedule is difficult for many students to coordinate with their own schedules. This often leads to partially watched movies—typically only the end or beginning of a film.
As Blankenship explained, students often fail to benefit from the current SWANK contract after their first or second year, when schedules become too cramped.
“I watched it a lot my freshman year, but not so much anymore because I’m too busy,” Blankenship said.
Full schedules seem not to be the only issues students have with the movie channel. Many also complain of the bad visual quality of movies.
MC senior Justin Kirkland feels the issue stems from technical infrastructure support.
“I know that the low quality comes more from the channel cutting that we have to do and less with the quality of the movie,” Kirkland said.
However, this problem is not rooted in a lack of effort.
Complaints have been heard and documented throughout the years, but fixing the issue always proves difficult for the IT department, often ending with some students getting high-quality viewing, and others get grainy, fuzzy images.
Fortunately, MC has possibly found a solution to these problems with the renewal of SWANK under a different contract.
Instead of a movie channel which plays films on a schedule, students will be able to watch some of the latest films online at any time they choose.
Under the new plan, as with Hulu and Netflix, students would have the option to choose any movie available in HD quality.
There would only be 12 films to choose from at a time; however, those available will be determined by their release dates and student votes.
For students who frequently use the Internet to view television and movies, the possible new SWANK format is readily acceptable.
“I love that idea, since I only watch television shows and movies on the Internet anyways,” said senior Nam Phuong Thi Dang. “I made sure that I didn’t bring a TV on campus this year because of that very reason.”
According to fellow senior Patrice Barges, many view this as a new way to stay up-to-date with new releases without comprising too much time or money.
“I feel as if this would be a nice opportunity for students to have access to current trending movies, since many of us either don’t have transportation or don’t have time to go out,” Barges said. “It’s convenient to access things like this on campus and from our computers.”
The new SWANK format would be accessible only to those who access MC’s internet—an added benefit to commuting students, who are largely unable to enjoy the current format.
MC junior Cameron Clark feels that this the improvement would also serve to bridge a gap between those living on and off campus.
“It [would help] expand [the] relationship between commuters and students on campus,” Clark said.
With the new upgrade, there would also be new features from which the college could benefit.
With the new format, MC would have the option to show short, varied advertisements to inform students of upcoming events or issues. The ads are expected to involve activities such as upcoming SPB events, as well as changes in academic policy.
MC sophomore Christian Borek believes that this such a system would be a great way to communicate to students.
“It could help advertise other student activities because of the potential for more viewers to be engaged in the new version of SWANK,” Borek said.
A trial run for the online SWANK is expected to begin sometime later in the semester.