Turn off the tedious televisions

TV’s by front entrance drain energy without providing useful service

This TV tells us that RB is a Character Counts school. So why do we need a whole TV to tell us that?

Kate Alaks

This TV tells us that RB is a Character Counts school. So why do we need a whole TV to tell us that?

Kate Alaks, Opinion Editor

When you walk into RB using the new main entrance, you will find yourself confronted by a TV. Not much farther into the building is another TV, mounted on the wall. These TVs are on constantly; I have never once seen the first turned off, and I only occassionally see the second with a blank screen.

And they are playing for an audience which does not exist.

There is no reason why these TVs should be on at six in the morning when hardly anyone is at school, there is no reason for them to be on during class time when students should not be in the halls, there’s no reason for them to be on during weekends, and really, there’s no reason for them to be on at all.

The first TV, in a glass case in the lobby of the new main entrance, shows us absolutely nothing vital. It lists the Character Counts pillars, as if they weren’t on posters all over the school. It offers up motivational or generically welcoming messages or quotes, which, although they may be nice in spirit, certainly don’t need an entire TV to display them. It assures us that, yes, RBTV does exist, and (perhaps the only useful piece of information) advises students to go to rbclarion.com. Nothing on this digital billboard is in the least unique to that medium, and none of it vitally needs to be played over and over and over again when no one spends the time to watch it.

The TV across from Student Services may look better, but in reality it’s not. It broadcasts (again, over and over and over) different programs from RBTV. RBTV puts out impressive work, no doubt about it, but this is hardly the best way to advertise. There’s hardly any volume, and increasing it would only serve to make the entrance more chaotic than it already is. Thus, much of the point of the program is lost. In addition, students don’t usually have the time to linger and watch the programs. At best, they glance up, think “Oh, I’ve seen that person around,” and go about their day. RBTV is already prominently advertised around the building and online; it does not need this television to bring in more viewers.

So now it’s been established that the TVs are superfluous to daily RB life. They don’t need to be there. But are they actually doing any harm?

Yes, as a matter of fact, they are.

It may have already occurred to you that two televisions which are playing constantly are using a fair amount of energy. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is.

First of all, that energy is created by burning fossil fuels, which contributes to air and water pollution and climate change. Now, admittedly, the brand of TV we have is Energy Star approved, which means it’s more energy efficient than a normal TV. But you know what’s even more efficient than that? Not playing a TV in the first place. Turning off two TVs is not going to save the world, but it’s a step in the right direction. It will save a small amount of energy, and it sends a positive message that the school cares enough to take these relatively simple measures.

The school will have to pay for this electricity, as well. And while it may not seem like a lot compared to the cost of running a school, it’s money that we don’t need to be spending, and it seems disrespectful that in the midst of rising class sizes, pay-to-participate, missing clubs, and tight budgets, the school finds two excessively useless televisions to be a priority for their funds.

Now, someone must have thought that putting them here was a good idea. Maybe they wanted to advertise for RBTV, which, as stated above, is not the best way to go about doing so. Maybe they wanted to offer something for students to watch while they wait for school to start or for a ride home, in which case the thought is nice but the implementation is unnecessary. As a general rule, most teenagers have some type of amusement device- phone, iPod, notebook, sketchbook, convenient friend, etc.,  that can help them pass the time until their ride shows up.

Does the school absolutely need to provide entertainment? No. No it does not.

If the school wants to give us the impression that it cares, it should use its media more responsibly. If it seems extreme to take down the televisions, at the very least turn them off while classes are in session, and ridiculously late/early in the day when the people in the building are few and far between. It will make the images more impactful, as opposed to background noise, and it will send a positive message that the school is concerned about fiscal and environmental issues.

We need to make a better first impression.