Club Gives UWM Students Production Experience
By Chris Verhyen
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Broadcast Club put on their first productions of the spring semester Friday afternoon.
The Broadcast club made two productions Friday. The first featured two interns, Rachel Anderson and Megan Kiepert, of the Focus Training Company, while the second featured two employees of UW-Milwaukee, Cynthia Petrites, a Interim Director, and Sherri Pfennig, a career counselor.
The shows marked the beginning of yet another semester’s worth of productions for the club. The Broadcast Club at the UW-Milwaukee has a relatively short history. With its roots dating back to 2004, it is a fairly new club at the University.
Mark Zoromski, the advisor of the club, has been with it since the beginning. “Several students had come to me and wanted to form a broadcast club,” Zoromski said. “They asked me if I could help them and I said absolutely, but on one condition. I wanted this to be a club that didn’t have meetings. I wanted it to be a club that made broadcasts.”
The broadcast club was created in order to help students understand more the technical side of making a television production. In order to do so, many steps were taken in order to get the rights to use the studio on campus. At the time, the studio was owned by the IMT or the Information of Media Technologies department. The main purpose of the studio at the time was to do internal productions for the University.
“The students and I went and meet with the head of the studio,” Zoromski said. “The head of the studio said ‘I have been waiting for this moment to come.’ He said ‘that they have this facility, and it’s a shame that students don’t get to use it.’”
Following that meeting, Zoromski and the students had to work their way up the food chain through multiple meetings and proposals to try and get the higher-ups to agree to allow the Broadcast Club to use the studio. The decision was that the club would be able to use it as a pilot, or for a trial semester for free on Friday afternoons, and depending on how the trial semester went, that would determine the future use of the studio for the club.
“It was very very successful,” Zoromski said. “We kind of skated along using it for free for like two years until somebody said, ‘I thought we were just doing this for free for one semester?’ And so now we have to pay to use it each semester.”
The club is projected to stick around for a long time to come, but depends on the strength of the student leadership. Sean Willey, a senior at UW-Milwaukee, is the current treasurer for the club. “Every week I kind of lead the charge as far as gathering shows, creating those shows, and then bringing those shows to life,” Willey said. “I work with the treasury, with the finances, but then I also do the content development as well.”
Although the dependence on leadership is very important, people like Tom Momberg, a new member for the Broadcast Club are what make it work every semester. “I want to get use to working on a team and producing television,” Momberg said. “I hope to maybe eventually come upon a leadership position. I know that something like that would always give me a lot of the needed experience in this field.”
As the years go on, strong ties are made within the club. Even with his schedule becoming more demanding, Zoromski says that he will continue to be a part of the club for years to come. “It’s really cool to stand back in the control room and just fold my arms and say, wow, you know here are kids doing stuff that they have always wanted to do.” Zoromski said. “I’ll be the advisor for as long as they want me to.”