UCSD Pulls Plug On 'Koala TV'

York Says Show Protects Freedom Of Expression

The program director of a student-run station at University of California, San Diego pulled the plug Thursday night on a controversial broadcast, 10News reported.

"Koala TV," which usually runs at 10 p.m. every Thursday on UCSD's student-run television, was cut short Thursday after a UCSD student took things too far.

Steve York, the creator of "Koala TV," made national headlines last month when he produced and starred in a pornographic video shown on closed-circuit campus television. "Koala TV" runs on SRTV, UCSD's student-run television.

While York calls his programming a freedom of expression, others say it's inapropriate pornagraphy.

Station Programmer Patrick Reynolds said, "We had to shut it down ... because I was aksed by some higher-ups in SRTV that if there was anything questionable, such as nudity, (we had) to shut it down."

Steve York

York decided to take on the issue of pornography because he said pornography and censorship are big issues that students need to discuss. He feels he's protecting freedom of expression on an increasingly conservative campus. His show often shows him naked on the closed-circuit program, but a show last month included sexual acts.

"It's a very highly-patrolled and surveilled campus and I'm trying to offer something fun for students over at SRTV, as I have been for four years," York said.

Student leaders are responsible for the station's charter, which allows indecent, but not obscene, broadcasts between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

An investigation by the UCSD administration last month found the broadcast to be in violation of the charter. The council voted to suspend the airing of such content on the student-run station.

"They pulled the plug ... They finally they bailed. It got a little too crazy," York said.

UCSD student council member John Polkinghorne described the show York aired on the station that has generated so much controversy.

"He performed oral sex on an unidentified woman," Polkinghorne said. "Any kind of programming on SRTV can't be obscene."

"I'm trying to offer something fun and in the freedom of speech battle -- 'Koala' has had a number of battles. It has always won," York said.

But some say that the show crossed the line and has no place on a college-run station.

"I think that's a poor representation of what our school is," said one UCSD student.

The student council said it received hundreds of complaints.

"It's definitely causing quite a stir and I have to say it's not what I expect from UCSD," said Tony Tang, another UCSD student.

York said he plans to meet with a lawyer and remains defiant. He said his show will continue to take risks.

The Associated Students Council deemed the video inappropriate and is making plans to clarify obscenity guidelines for the station and establish a grievance and investigative procedure.

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