The arrival of MTV’s on-campus network, mtvU, at Bryn Mawr last month sparked a minor—and remarkably civil—protest at the prestigious Pennsylvania women’s college.
After the network began playing on a new MTV-installed plasma flat-screen in a popular campus dining hall, several complaints appeared on the hall’s "napkin note" comment board.
"Having a TV (not to mention MTV ads) disrupts my dining," read one note. "Please don’t cloud my otherwise pleasant dining experience with bad music, videos or even the news."
"We should be able to decide if and when we want a TV in our dining hall," said another.
Although MTV stipulates that the set cannot be turned off (only the volume can be adjusted), the complaints apparently succeeded in shutting it down temporarily.
But Dave Chase, associate director of dining services, says mtvU is there to stay and support for the network’s programming and social-action campaigns has been high at Bryn Mawr.
"Obviously, the reason why we invited mtvU is, we thought it would be a service to the students," he says. "Some people are not always the most receptive to any kind of change."
An mtvU spokesman characterizes the outcry as a "vocal minority," noting that mtvU—which has a presence on some 750 campuses—"across the board, has been embraced by college students nationwide."
Indeed, some at Bryn Mawr posted notes in favor of the new TV.
One, however, offered an alternative: "We want an open bar instead of TV."
Ah, higher education.