Instant movies

EMILY GIBSON
Arts & Entertainment

Imagine a movie theater without the itchy seats or screaming children; instead, just you, a couple of friends, some snacks and the comfort of your own living space as you watch a movie on demand from your couch or bed.
Next year, the Student Government Association (SGA) and Residence Life plan to make this fantasy a reality for Virginia Wesleyan students by introducing Resident Select, a movie-streaming program that will offer unlimited access to a selection of movies to VWC residents.
Resident Select is the name of a program that allows a campus to set up its own channel, so that students living on that campus can access the channel and watch the movies available to them on demand.
Each month, 10 new movies will be selected for streaming on the Wesleyan campus, and the prior month’s movies will still be available until the current month ends.
“We will have approximately 20 movies available for viewing at any time because we keep movies for a second month after we first get them,” said ResLife director, Phillip Boyd, who proposed the Resident Select program to the SGA. “So if we have 10 movies in August, we’ll get another 10 movies in September, but we will still be able to watch the August movies until we get the new movies for October. In October we would still have September’s movies, and so on.”
The movie database on the site includes an archive of older movies, but also some newer releases that will be available for streaming on college campuses months before they will be released through Netflix or Redbox.
Steven Bond, the SGA president, is currently working on bringing the program to Virginia Wesleyan.
“It’s recent movies, but we can select older movies as well. But it’s the new movies that they advertise,” said Bond. “That’s what makes their program nice for college campuses.”
If the program gets approved, movies would be selected by SGA, ResLife and the student body.
“Ideally, this would be a collaboration between Residence Life, WAC, SGA and voting directly from residential students,” said Boyd. “This is going to be based on student demand. We will work out the mechanics of the movie selection process once we have secured the product for our students.”
Virginia Wesleyan’s WiFi connection has had problems with streaming programs, such as Netflix, making the connection run slower. The Resident Select program runs on a different server, since it is an on-demand type of service, and therefore will not have a negative impact on the Internet.
“The good thing about this program is they build a server for this campus and when students go on this website, it doesn’t affect the school’s Internet at all, so I’m hoping that this will be another alternative for Netflix because Netflix is a huge problem here because so many people are on it and it slows down our WiFi,” said Bond. “So, I’m hoping people will go on this a little more than Netflix.”
The program will cost residents an additional $8-10 annually on their room and board fee, which will give them unlimited access to the movies on demand.
“So, basically, it’s really cheap,” said Bond.
Virginia Wesleyan hopes to bring the program, which has been used on campuses around the country, to our campus next year.
“I do not see this replacing Netflix, Hulu, or other external streaming sources, but I do think it will nicely complement those offerings in terms of the variety of entertainment choices that students will have because we will have such a wide variety of movies to watch that otherwise would either be unavailable or have to be privately acquired by each student who wanted to watch the movie,” said Boyd.
SGA hopes the program will be implemented next year if they can get enough student’s signatures on a petition that they will present to administration.

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