By Tristan E. M. Leach
The cameras start rolling. The actors take a minute to compose themselves. The producers give the cue and the lights go up. It’s time for Rider University Network, or RUN, to film another episode.
RUN was founded in 1996, but like many other organizations, was shut down by COVID-19. Since Rider started to return to a more open, normal campus, the station has been working to make a comeback.
The club is made up of dedicated members from a range of majors and is overseen by Scott Alboum, video technologies coordinator for Rider. RUN is completely student organized; from the creation to the uploading of the show, students facilitate and participate in the entire process. RUN used to be joined with 107.7 The Bronc until recently when it separated from the station.
Emily O’Connor, a freshman arts and entertainment industries management major, is co-president of RUN. O’Connor decided to join RUN in hopes of gaining experience but also getting more involved on campus.
“I went to the first meeting, and me and one of my friends pitched an idea for a show. We got to do it, and I just kept going and kept staying. I was so deep into producing a show, and I really liked the atmosphere, the vibes and the willingness that the students had,” said O’Connor. “The overall experience of you being able to create something and people not really giving you restrictions … just having that creative freedom as an artist.”
The creativity is abundantly clear through the variety of shows that are currently being produced by members of the network. In total, there are currently three shows being produced: “Broncs Box Office,” the longest running show to date, “Baking with the Broncs,” a new show, and “The Bounce,” a student entertainment show. Each show focuses on a selected interest or interests that the creators of the show have.
“Broncs Box Office” is a movie review show. The show is currently being reworked but has seen great success since it began. “Baking with the Broncs” is a show in which students, faculty and staff bake a treat and answer questions related to Rider. “The Bounce” is the third show that is currently running, which highlights students at Rider such as athletes, performers and artists.
Each show is fully created, produced and released by a crew of dedicated students, with people like O’Connor doing more than one job at a time. The experience not only allows students to see where their talents may be best, but also allows them to gain experience in a number of different roles.
The type of experience was what got freshman psychology major, Nia Violette, hooked on the network. Violette was looking for the chance to gain more experience in film and television production.
“I hadn’t really had that kind of opportunity in high school. I thought that the network would be a great way for me to get that experience, especially considering my major and the fact that psychology and film don’t necessarily go together,” Violette said with a breathy chuckle.
Violette became a member of “The Bounce” and started doing a segment called “Hit or Miss.” At first, the segment was intended to be on pop culture, but grew far past just that. The segment now does pieces such as ranking or comparing coffee drinks from campus and much more.
As the students work tirelessly to get their episodes out for the already existing shows, they also work to create new segments and shows in general. Violette and three of her friends, Mekhia Gwynn, a freshman film and television major, and Jayla Price and Zoë Jones, sophomore film and television majors, are currently working on creating a game show called “You Guessed It.”
For O’Connor and Violette, the chance to make and create is what pulls them in and keeps them coming back for more. Both expressed their excitement to see what is next for RUN and how they can be a part of it.
“I plan on staying with the network for the foreseeable future and really building on the skills that I have now, refining them and adding on some new ones as well,” said Violette. “[RUN] is making me rethink how I might do my job in the future. I might try to incorporate some aspects of visual media into my job.”
O’Connor said, “Coming to Rider, I never thought I’d be having a leadership position my second semester my freshman year. … I’m just really hoping to push RUN into the potential I think it can be. To make it [RUN] what I think it needs to be and give students the opportunity that Scott gave me to be a leader and really have fun.”
Caroline Haviland is a member of RUN and a copy editor for The Rider News. Haviland had no part in the writing or editing of this story.