Campus News

‘Bethical News’ brings satire, announcements

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“You’re the girl from Bethical News!” It’s a common refrain for senior Hannah Taubitz, since she and junior Casey Weaver have begun hosting the weekly “Bethical News” video segments. The short news segments, which serve to promote campus-wide weekend events, air on Friday morning chapels, and feature a playful, sarcastic tone. The scripts each week are written by Josh Hartsell, the resident director for the Oakwood-Slater Hall. According to Hartsell, the concept for the videos started at the A.C.S.D. (Association for Christians in Student Development) conference that he and several other Bethel resident directors attended. The Bethel R.D.’s identified two needs: that students were unaware of the events going on during the weekend on campus, and that the administration needed to find a way to package announcements in a way that is anticipated by the student body. Hartsell then came up with the idea to make a program patterned after Saturday Night Live’s “weekend update.” Hartsell and Travis Beam, the Manges Hall and Eastwood R.D. decided on the name. Weaver and Taubitz were chosen to act as the two anchors. Coincidentally, Weaver already ran a Twitter account by the same name (@BethicalNews) with his roommate, Luke Steiner. Though the newscast and Twitter account are similar stylistically, Weaver said they serve different purposes. Weaver stated that the Twitter account was started to “acknowledge the feelings of the majority of students.” He and Steiner try to poke fun while being informative, and often retweet Bethel student’s tweets, according to Weaver. Weaver admitted that while the Twitter account is, ironically “not always Bethical,” the newscast is “a little more appropriate.” “Some people don’t like the Twitter,” Weaver said, adding that they try to balance poking fun at others with making fun of themselves. Weaver said that about two or three students mention the newscast to him in a day, and four or five students approach him on the days Bethical News runs in chapel. And do students approach co-host, Taubitz, mentioning the news program? “All the time, oh my gosh,” Taubitz said. “There are so many people!” Taubitz said that the news is filmed in the storage room of the Manges Hall basement. The process usually only takes an hour, and Weaver and Taubitz are allowed to tamper with the script. The video work and opening montage were put together by Brennan Miller. According to Weaver, Miller is responsible for many of the best videos played in chapel. The weekly video scripts are written with a critical, but lighthearted look at Bethel’s student body. “People love Bethel, but they love to hate Bethel,” Hartsell said, later adding. “We have an awesome student body, but a whiney student body.” Hartsell looks at the event calendar each week to decide which events to promote. Some people email him, asking him to include something that is going on. Hartsell said that he has gotten good reviews. One student even told him that Bethical News is “the only reason I go to chapel on Friday.” Still, the student body has been largely unaware that Hartsell writes the comical video scripts. He admitted he’s enjoyed the anonymity for the first stage of Bethical News. “It’s my way to prove my underrated humor is, in fact, funny,” Hartsell said.
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