By Uyen Nguyen
The Rival, a satirical student-run publication at this university, is doing monthly news shows featuring a studio audience and a live band to report important stories on campus called The Rival News.
“[The host] is pretty witty and the show is accessible for students who don’t usually keep up with campus news,” said Lucy Hu, a junior information systems and supply chain management major and viewer.
The self-proclaimed “low-budget Daily Show” is completely funded by the student staff and has no budget, said Adam Goldberg, senior communications major and the show’s host.
“We’ve got to start somewhere,” he said.
Goldberg said The Rival News editor Andy Hoang “probably devoted 30 hours” to the pilot. “[He’s] incredibly talented … I really wish we could pay him.”
The first show aired Oct. 31 and is 13 minutes long, and the goal is to keep each show between 10-15 minutes, Goldberg said.
“We want to be the voice of the students. We want to voice their concerns, expose absurdity, and hopefully, lead to change.”
“Since the length is short enough to keep my attention, I’d probably watch it every month” to stay updated, Hu said.
One topic The Rival News highlighted was the student frustration after receiving UMD Alerts 50 minutes after the ROTC shooter altercation was reported to the University of Maryland Police Department.
“In that time, I could’ve found a place to study in McKeldin, waited in line at Panda Express, connected with a human on the financial aid hotline,” Goldberg said in the show.
He sat in front of a green screen in Hornbake Library’s media studio, while a small picture box in the top-left corner of the screen changed from photo to photo as he changed topics.
“That part was a funny way to point out what UMPD did wrong without actually having to say it –- pretty clever,” said Kristi Kan, junior food science major.
Goldberg said The Rival staff had a meeting to discuss which topics are newsworthy enough for the pilot and him actually “living through [the fake shooter incident] and being incredibly frustrated [after] researching all of the details” made the staff realize they had to cover the story to make students aware as well.
In another segment of the show, The Rival writer Summer Bedard, a senior broadcast journalism major, went on McKeldin Mall to interview students about how the unfinished construction has affected them.
“Honestly [the mall’s construction] is ruining my life … I’m late to class every other day,” said “Jake, UMD Student,” who was interviewed on the show. Because he has to walk around McKeldin mall instead of cutting through, his commute time to class increased by “900 minutes” this semester.
After he did the math — “it takes me 3 extra minutes… 5 times a day, 5 days a week, I’ve done it for 12 weeks, so its 900 minutes” — the subtitle changed from “Jake, UMD Student” to “Jake, Fuckin’ Nerd.”
Goldberg said the show is “entirely student-made … we are not affiliated with the university, [so] we don’t have to filter ourselves.
Bedard then explained to the students the construction on McKeldin Mall was done to prevent “rain puddles” from flooding the mall after some said they thought the only difference was “new grass.” She got some pretty funny reactions.
She even interviewed the “Pan Flute Guy” while on McKeldin Mall, and his identity has finally been revealed –- his name is Brian and he is a student of this university.
After the interviews played, Bedard sat down with Goldberg in front of his green screen as he sarcastically asked her: “So Title IX is severely underfunded … and Maryland’s General Assembly spent $2 million to prevent puddles?”
“Sexual assault is a big deal, and according to our university, puddles are an even bigger deal,” Bedard replied.
This was an entertaining way to tell students about the university’s poor judgment when allocating funds, considering how underfunded Title IX is and how much has been spent on construction, Kan said. “It’s better than us having to read a typical article about Title IX or the cost of the construction.”
“My favorite part was when [Goldberg] said, ‘Don’t blame the slow construction on the construction workers’ while the screen showed a picture of a construction worker laying in the grass,” Hu said.
The Rival News Show crew consists of 10 students, including some graduate students. Goldberg said The Rival’s business developer Michael Bregenzer, a senior English major, approached him about doing the show in August and then “he made it happen.”
The Rival’s next show will be focused on DOTS and will air the first week of December.
Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of The Rival UMD on Facebook.
Uyen Nguyen is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.