The Tiger TV operates with 32 staff members and 24 students that are a part of the COMM 1131 internship class. While 23 of the 32 staff members are unpaid, students still volunteer multiple hours working on the station’s three shows: “Newswave,” “Not So Late Show” and “Studio 21.”
TigerTV is not independent nor does it have paid advertisements. The communication department funds the station. The six managers and three executives are paid institutional job wages.
“TigerTV is a part of the communication department, so our funding comes from them, and it’s something that we request. We would all do it even if we didn’t get paid. It really is not that important to us to get five or ten hours a week of compensation. It is really just a bonus. We are so happy that people choose to volunteer,” said Gloria Borgardt, senior and station manager.
Volunteers and students in the internship class work in multiple jobs on the set. The studio is located on the second floor of the Richardson Communication Center. Students are typically divided up to work on the three different shows.
The volunteers and class members begin working on basic jobs before they can work their way up to jobs like producing or paid managerial positions. This is intended to give the students a chance to learn a variety of skill sets and practical experience.
“Within our volunteers, we have people who are ‘behind-the-scenes’ and are part of the crew. There are so many different pieces of equipment to learn. We really like people to learn all of that as part of a way to work; as part of a step to becoming someone who is hired or has some sort of position. It definitely takes time to learn all those positions,” Borgardt said.
The projects and the amount of hours each volunteer logs are varied by week. TigerTV has a flexible schedule for their volunteers. The retention rate for volunteers is relatively high, but they are always in the ongoing process of acquiring new volunteers.
“There is no specific schedule for how everyone works. Our weeks are never the same. It depends if we are planning a special event, hosting a forum, or working on our regular shows. The majority of the managers and all three executive producers go to all three shows,” Borgardt said.
The volunteers put a lot of their personal time and effort into the shows that are broadcasted.
“We want it to be the same thing Trinity is known for — academic excellence. We want our media to actually exuberate those same qualities,” said Alex Milbert, a junior and associate producer for Newswave.
“It is an investment but we have a lot of fun doing it,” said Megan Meyer, senior and web manager.
Students of all majors can participate and do not need to take the class to volunteer, although the class can be taken up to three times for credit.
“We don’t feel like everyone is a volunteer. Everyone is really valued and we definitely can’t do it without a group of people. It is a full — on production in the studio as well as our control room. You don’t have to be a communications major; we have all sorts of majors who are part of it,” Borgardt said.
Students are encouraged to enroll in COMM 1131 in the spring semester. The course is open to students of all academic interests and backgrounds.