Addressing concerns over TBA

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One of the most important student organizations at CMU, in terms of the sheer number of events planned for both campus and community members, is Activities Board (AB). AB is composed of ten committees, all of which receive funding from your student activities fee through the Joint Funding Committee.

Some notable AB events this past semester have been a rock-climbing wall, the Talib Kweli concert (this past Friday), lectures, and a comedy show earlier this month. Most students are familiar with AB Films, which does an amazing job showing movies in McConomy for only one dollar, Wednesday through Sunday.

This past week, however, AB Films has received a considerable amount of criticism about showing and advertising their ?TBA? film. (For those unfamiliar with Carnegie Mellon?s ?TBA? tradition: Each semester, a pornographic film is shown in place of a regular McConomy movie.) Concerns over the inappropriate content were first brought to my attention at a student government executive committee meeting where the chairs or presidents of all governmental organizations (in attendance) discuss what their particular groups are working on and what concerns they may have.

The two main issues currently under debate are: Should these films be shown on campus? and, if so, what type of advertising (if any) should be allowed? While I will not discuss my personal feelings on the matter, I will share with you some facts about TBA and the process by which this year?s TBA movie was brought to campus.

AB reached an agreement with the distributor to receive the rights to the film (this year, it was Pirates) for free by putting website URLs on some of the posters. Thus, none of your Student Activities fee went toward bringing this film to campus. The poster policy from the Undergraduate Student Senate does not prohibit sexual content, explicit or otherwise. Finally, a security guard was hired to cover the door to the auditorium and check ID for students who want to see the film.

I will be working with concerned students from all viewpoints, as well as governmental bodies, to begin discussions about the future of TBA films and their advertisement on our campus. If you have any feelings on TBA, I would be happy to hear from you, as that?s the way I can best represent your opinions. Please feel free to send me an e-mail, call me, or stop and talk to me when you see me.