mtvU brings college-oriented music to campus

With such varying tastes of music on college campuses, it is a wonder that mtvU, MTV’s 24/7 on-campus television channel, has just gotten around to establishing a broadcast at Emerson College. mtvU focuses its content on music programming, but also features news, student life shows, events, pro-social initiatives and more.

The channel is the largest television network solely aimed at college students, broadcasting to over 730 colleges across the country with a combined “enrollment” of more than 6.8 million students, according to a recent press release.

Although specific programming and channel listings are as yet unconfirmed, the addition of mtvU to Emerson’s on campus television lineup is in progress, according to Amy Grill, manager of The Emerson Channel.

mtvU differs from the original MTV in its emphasis on college-age programming and music. Unlike the traditional channel, which seems to only show full music videos in the middle of the night, mtvU’s Web site says that the channel will broadcast videos in hourly segments for up to eight hours at a time, depending on the day’s schedule.

So what’s on mtvU’s playlist? Music videos by Bright Eyes, The Academy Is ., Panic! At the Disco, Matisyahu, The Chemical Brothers, We Are Scientists, The Subways, The White Stripes and The Fray, just to name a few.

These bands, while not typically heard on mainstream radio, are not exactly “indie underground,” either. This came as a disappointment to freshman Matt Shearer, an audio/radio major.

“I would like to see actual bands from the underground,” he said. “Right now, they’re all bands signed to major labels that call themselves ‘indie.’ It’s cool to hear music from everyone, like bands that aren’t signed, and ones that don’t sing in fake British accents.”

As for television shows, mtvU’s original programming strays from the “Real World” and “Laguna Beach” of MTV and focuses more on quirky offerings such as “Stand In,” where icons and celebrities substitute teach classes.

Notable personalities like Madonna (who gave a lecture on documentary filmmaking), Bill Gates (who taught a computer class), Marilyn Manson and Kanye West have been special guests on the show, according to the Web site.

Other offerings include “Does This Look Infected?,” where host VJ Jam Jamma Josh takes an unreliable but funny look at health issues facing college students and poses humorous questions like: “What exactly is lurking in that Spring Break hotel hot tub?”

Another show is “Dean’s List,” a top 10 music video countdown voted on by users of the Web site, and “The Freshmen,” where students respond to new videos as they are added to mtvU’s airwaves. There is also “15 Minutes With. ,” where Hollywood celebrities are interviewed by students, according to the Web site.

mtvU’s “Woodie Awards” are voted on by college students and will honor their favorite artists and bands.