By Taylour Walker
On Thursday, the C-SPAN Mobile Bus stopped by Hampton University's Student Center as part of their HBCU Bus Tour. C-SPAN is a public affairs network, which was created to provide public access to government proceedings within the U.S. Congress. With more than 250,000 hours of programs online, C-SPAN has become a valuable research tool. To promote their successful Internet endeavor, the C-SPAN Mobile Bus travels to schools nationwide for educational outreach and program production.
After an interview with President William R. Harvey that morning, the C-SPAN Mobile Bus opened its doors to students. Along with a warm respite from the near-freezing cold, walls lined with interactive touch screens welcomed students as they walked in.
A curious and active crowd filed into the bus with questions and cameras ready. While many were snapping selfies in front of the C-SPAN logo at the back of the bus, C-SPAN representatives quickly took to demonstrating what the Mobile Bus had to offer. Activities included: demonstrations on C-SPAN's transition to a mobile platform, touch screen quizzes, and a close look at production equipment used to film C-SPAN programs.
Sara Zou, a C-SPAN marketing representative, wanted students to "learn more about C-SPAN and C-SPAN.org and recognize that it's a fantastic resource for students."
When asked about why the C-SPAN Mobile Bus chose to visit HBCUs, she said that, "a C-SPAN fan suggested it to us."
Students who stopped by welcomed C-SPAN's visit. Khayla Harris, a transfer student and journalism major from Baltimore, said, "I actually have seen C-SPAN before. I've been in the D.C. area, and I know that they record Congress.
"When I found that out, I had to come here to see it."
After an engaging discussion with Steve Devoney, a C-SPAN media specialist, Harris said she wanted other HBCU students to, "get the experience that I had and be able to talk to people who are professionals."
Demarius Newsome, a senior psychology major and leadership studies minor from Meadville, Pa., was quite taken with the interactive aspects of the bus. Newsome said, "outside of those who are journalism and political science majors, who always have to keep involved, C-SPAN is a good way for us to be involved with things that are going on."
Jeremy Trippett, a senior marketing major from Chicago, was just pleased to, "look and see HBCUs and see President Harvey and the exposure of Hampton University through C-SPAN." He also said that it was, "just good to bring that exposure to college students and black students at large."
The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.