C-SPAN's Interactive Bus Makes Cheyney University its First Stop on National Tour

February 14, 2017

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On board the C-SPAN Interactive Bus, Cheyney University Senior Communication major Tyneesah Davenport tells C-SPAN viewers what she wants President Donald Trump and Congress to do during the first 100 days of the new administration.

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C-SPAN’s award-winning, 45-foot customized bus, a mobile, interactive learning center, visited Cheyney University February 13, as part of C-SPAN’s 2017 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) tour. Cheyney, the nation's 1st HBCU, was the very first stop on the tour. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the outside public were welcome to step on board for free to record video, search through hundreds of thousands of hours of political video, and discover how much fun learning can be, thanks to technology. 

"We are all about not telling you what to believe," said Joel Bacon, a C-SPAN Marketing representative. "We are completely non-partisan because we're not funded by the government. Since 1979, we've been funded through the cable industry, in this case, by Comcast. You'll never see talking heads on C-Span. We don't do 30 second sound bites. We do gavel-to-gavel coverage. We'll start at the beginning of a program and you'll see it in its entirety with no edits. So, if it's a 90 minute speech, we'll show all 90 minutes, commercial-free." 

The C-SPAN video library boasts nearly 230,000 hours of free, searchable political and governmental footage via Dr. Lisa Shoenberg, a Cheyney Professor of Philosophy, brought her Contemporary Moral Problems Class to the bus to take advantage of the resources on board.

"Each of the students is supposed to be an expert on their chosen topic by the end of the semester," she explained. "They need to know everything that there is to know about their topic when they write their paper. This is the perfect opportunity for them to do research."

Senior Emmanuel Harris, a Communication major, was researching world poverty. "Wow," he said, while accessing link after link via the electronic tablets on board the bus. "I didn't know they had all of this."

"C-SPAN is very excited to launch the latest version of our mobile, interactive learning center," said Heath Neiderer, C-SPAN Marketing Manager. "Visitors will get a hands-on experience to explore and learn about ways to use C-SPAN to follow the American political process."

Cheyney students also got a chance to go on camera and tell C-SPAN viewers what they hope President Donald Trump and Congress will address in the first 100 days of the new administration.

Tyneesah Davenport, a senior Communication major, and Roi Walker, a senior Criminal Justice major, both said they want increased funding for HBCUs such as Cheyney.

"HBCUs seem to get the short end of the stick and it's just not fair," Walker said afterwards.

Akia Harris, a senior Psychology major, spoke passionately before the camera, asking that lawmakers bring awareness to mental health, the stigmas attached to mental health, and make it possible for the under-served to receive mental healthcare.

Another student who will graduate in May asked that they address the federal hiring freeze because "it places my situation in jeopardy."

C-SPAN, in nearly 100 million households, "is more important now than ever before and interest in it has definitely increased," shared Bacon. 

His job is to let people know what the station has to offer and travel the country letting students and the public on board to utilize the interactive tablets, bus App with state-of-the-art content, mobile devices demonstrating how C-SPAN is used on social media and the radio, and the HD video cameras and production equipment.

"The technology is amazing, especially how they set it all up inside," summarized Professor Allen Gardner, Jr. "This is a rare opportunity for an organization like C-SPAN to make Cheyney its first stop on its HBCU tour." 

The two-hour stop wasn't long enough. If you missed it, you can still access C-SPAN's extensive library via