The Chronicle’s View: Students are more important than TV

Television and movie casts often request, even pay, to shoot segments of their shows at schools as “Everwood” has done here at the U.

The cast is currently using the U to represent two fictional schools in its show, Colorado A&M and Everwood Community College.

There is nothing wrong with an institution of higher education such as the U helping television shows. It gives the administration a little more money to work with and the school a little exposure. It also shows that the U is willing to collaborate with and respect the needs of those who wish to use the campus.

However, “Everwood” has overstepped its bounds by impeding the college experience for U students, in some cases making students late for classes or tests or forcing them to stay in their classrooms long after their lectures have ended.

By interfering with these students’ education, “Everwood” has violated a legal contract with the university that stated the cast would try not to interfere with the daily activities of students and faculty during filming.

The U has shown good faith in cooperating with the show’s cast and crew and letting it use the campus, but education should always come first at a university. “Everwood” needs to respect this priority and realize it is a guest on this campus.

For example, if an entire hallway’s classes all conclude in the middle of the shoot, it’s time for a reshoot.

On a campus composed of nearly 35,000 students and employees, it may be impossible to avoid some level of conflict during shoots, but the crew members must recognize the importance of an education and take a back seat from time to time. The least they could do is post signs in advance of a shoot warning that a certain area will be closed off and then remind people to steer clear of the set rather than shout rude warnings at those simply trying to get from class to class.

The U and the cast of “Everwood” should reach a compromise that prioritizes students and better respects the purpose of a university. When the endeavors of students, faculty and staff at a university take a back seat to filming for a television show, something must be done.

While there are some bonuses the U receives from cooperating with “Everwood,” the fact remains that exposure for the U is limited, as the college on the show uses a fictional name. The amount of money the U receives-in the grand scheme of things-is marginal at best.

The U wants to respect the needs of the television crew, but the crew should also respect the needs and purpose of a university.