Shark TV and Be a Shark

Sara Alsheikh, Staff Writer

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Since Freshman year, being on Shark TV was a goal of mine. I remember the ten to fifteen minutes of laughter and joy before class got serious again. I remember the creative freedom the Shark TV crew had in the class and the opportunities to make their years – and ours – memorable and worthwhile. My friend and I planned out all the segments we would do once we made it in Senior year and we swore to make people enjoy their Tuesdays as much as we did when we were underclassmen. 

Senior year rolled around and I officially became a part of TV Production along with my friend. The teacher seemed hopeful and the class took that as a sign of future success and popularity.  

No one knew how strict our Santiago Administration had become since Freshman year and putting together videos became a burden rather than an opportunity to express creativity.  Videos were cut out, entire episodes were delayed, time stamps were shortened, and the “Be a Shark” campaign took up most of the available air space.  Shark TV is not what it used to be and I feel that this is due to how much the school wants to impose ‘Be a Shark’ on the students.

First, TV production is a student broadcast. It is run by students, meant for students, and I believe it should be used to reflect how the students feel at Santiago. The atmosphere should be genuine and relate to the majority of the students at Santiago. Ever since the “Be a Shark” campaign was initiated by the school, Shark TV was no longer a student-run class. The shark TV crew, including myself, began to feel used and hopeless in expressing our creative freedom. Our job became pushing the “Be a Shark” campaign —an agenda that we feel the students find in-genuine. We aren’t performing at our best and we’ve received quite a bit of negative feedback on our latest productions because we are no longer truly in control of what we produce anymore.  

My friend and I began a narrative video segment called ‘Waking’ meant to represent how high school students feel about certain issues at our school and how we, as students, react to these issues differently. A new episode was meant to appear on each Bite episode with a different obstacle students face. The project wasn’t meant to be too serious and but gave a voice to a wide variety of students on our campus. Unfortunately, we were not permitted to continue with this project and I feel that the school only wants to paint the school as the perfect campus instead of giving voice to those who want to seek change. Our project was dropped along with our motivation in this course. 

The school’s “Be a Shark” movement, although seemingly well intended, has negatively affected the TV production classroom and how people view ‘The Bite’ overall. Teachers have also stopped showing new episodes because of how limited we are with segments now.  In fact, two teachers I spoke with said that their students even stopped asking to watch “Shark TV” and they’ve missed the last few episodes.

I understand the purpose of the ‘Be a Shark’ campaign and why Shark TV is their first go-to – but I also understand why the TV crew has become so frustrated with the change in content and how our TV production artists on campus feel negatively about having to spend the majority of their time putting out pre-approved messages while juggling other class assignments.  

Maybe ‘Be a Shark’ would have more positive feedback if it truly reflected the population at Santiago and promoted other highly talented creative students on campus outside of Shark TV.  My request is that we do our best to keep Shark TV a student broadcast filled with student-designed content and work to make the ‘Be a Shark’ campaign more genuine to our students.


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