CKLN broadcasts referendum plan

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By Anne Smith

RyeSAC executives elections may include a referendum question asking students to give CKLN more money.

After missing two earlier deadlines, Ryerson’s community radio station has submitted a referendum proposal to RyeSAC asking for a $6 levy increase to the $8.03 full-time students already pay.  This would mean about $72,000 more for CKLN and would help offset the station’s $129,845.

But an increased student levy might not be enough to keep the radio station running.  RyeSAC’s general manager John Fabrizio said CKLN is always asking student council for advances on the levy to carry them through the school year.

“CKLN has not bene able to re-invest in its station. T Hey are just scraping by, paying their basic expenses,” Fabrizio said.

While CKLN has decided to turn to students to help solves its financial woes, other financially troubled campus radio stations, like the University of Toronto’s CIUT, have decided to take a different route.  CIUT, which owes more than $84,000 to creditors as of August, 1998, has decided to change its policies to allow corporate advertising.  This decision has angered some of the station’s board members who feel corporate contracts contradict CIUT’s grassroots tradition.

Conrad Collaco, CKLN’s station manager, agrees with those who oppose CIUT’s policy change.  He said he’s not interested in bringing corporate advertising to his station.

“We are licensed as a community campus radio station.  Our priority is to speak about issues that affect students, issues that no one else will address,” he said.

Though more money from students would help CKLN, Fabrizio said that even if the referendum is approved, the station will have to wait until September, 2000 to receive the additional funding.  He said the station will probably have to get another advance from RyeSAC to carry them through next year.

Student fees are the largest source of income for the station, totaling $94,864 in 1997, almost half of CKNL’s budget.  To hold a referendum, RyeSAC’s board of directors and Ryerson’s board of governors have to approve the proposal.  If this happens, the referendum would be held with elections for RyeSAC executive positions this February or Ryerson’s board of governors in April.

Collaco said he’s optimistic the referendum will pass and believes the station will be able to improve its financial situation.  Once that happens Callao has big plans for the station, including securing a prominent spot in the new student campus centre.

“I want them to have built-in speakers so that Ryerson students will hear our broadcast,” he said.

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