Board of trustees meeting videos back after glitch

Board member

Board of Trustee member Dave DeVarti who was instrumental in the decision to video record WCC board meetings. Photo by Sara Faraj

by Becky Gordon

Staff Writer

For at least three weeks, Washtenaw Community College’s board of trustees past meeting videos were unavailable on WCC’s website.

The unavailability of the videos was noticed in the beginning of December, which showed that any video older than November was no longer linked within the archive page. The matter was brought to the attention of board of trustee member Dave DeVarti, and separately to WCC’s director of media relations, Susan Ferraro.

The Voice contacted DeVarti because he was the driving force behind having the board meetings recorded to begin with. It was a motion DeVarti had put to the board in his first year as a member.

“This is something that when I first got on the board, I raised as an important issue,” DeVarti said. “It’s really important to me that these be available.”

DeVarti is also on the zoning board of appeals for Ann Arbor, and served on the city council in the ‘80s, and his experience with board meetings involve not only recorded video, but broadcast video of those proceedings.

“Most people can’t make it to these meetings, and it’s a way that they can access what goes on,” DeVarti said.

As of Dec. 7, the videos were restored to the archive page WCC’s Board of Trustees section. The availability of the videos, or lack thereof, was traced back to a programming code that only allowed for video access on the website’s page for 30 days.

Prior to the restoration, the videos had been available on WCC’s YouTube channel, posted under videos. There is no collected playlist of the board of trustees videos at this time.

“When it came to our attention that videos from BOT meetings prior to the November 2017 meeting were not posted on the meeting archive home page – we immediately worked to assess the issue,” Susan Ferraro wrote in an email. “The issue has been resolved, and now the videos of each monthly BOT meeting can be found on the meeting archive home page.”

DeVarti assessed the video situation as one that, until that point, had gone smoothly. Going forward he said he hopes that it is something that continues. The logical evolution of the board of trustees meeting videos would be a broadcast, or livestream, format. However, no plans or intentions lie in that area currently.

“It would be a significant investment,” DeVarti said.

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