New scoreboards give students experience

Tim Knutson

Tim Knutson

As most students are probably aware by now, the athletic department has had a major upgrade this fall to the scoreboard systems at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium and Frost Arena. What most students might not know is that an addition to the communication studies and theater department took place alongside those changes.

Students are able earn credits by running the scoreboards on game day. In most cases, students are paid as much as $10 per hour. Students are responsible for things like directing, running cameras and basic computer production. These students are working hand in hand with employees of Keyframe, a service division of Daktronics.

Athletic Director Fred Oien explained that the athletic department had been working with Daktronics for a few years and was aware of the opportunity for students to participate in the process. He said student participation is one of the reasons the athletic department chose this system through Daktronics.

“We anticipated good things to come from Keyframe, and we have not been disappointed. We are very happy with the out come so far,” Oien said.

Even more delighted with the outcome of the current project that allows students to gain experience for future careers is Jeff Heinle, head of the media production program at SDSU.

“As a part of MEPR (media production), it gives us a great opportunity in a number of different environments,” Heinle said.

A limited number of areas for MEPR students to gain hands-on experience on campus exists. Students can participate in the production of television shows filmed on campus in Pugsley Hall, such as “Today’s Ag” and “On Call,” not to mention radio shows on KSDJ 90.7, such as the “Timmy K. and Scuba Steve Show.” With the additions of the new scoreboards, MEPR students have another place on campus to gain much needed experience that will help them find jobs when they graduate.

MEPR student Emelia Gulck said, “I learned different programs on animations. It’s pretty easy and fun, but I love that I get paid and credit.”

This student staffing program is currently being used at the University of Wisconsin and University of Georgia, but is not something that has a blueprint for how it is going to work at each university. Daktronics and SDSU both knew they wanted to have students involved, but are still ironing out some of the different ways it will work. One of the problems that both Daktronics and Heinle are dealing with is student participation. The opportunities exist, but it is becoming hard to find students to participate.

The athletic department is not the only one benefiting from the addition of the scoreboards. The new scoreboards provide an opportunity for MEPR students to gain valuable experience and provide an entertaining experience for SDSU fans that attend games at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium and Frost Arena.