By Shane Dingman
The day is slowly approaching when students will be asked to support or abandon CKLN in its drive to raise student contributions to the debt-ridden radio station.
This Thursday, after months of delay, CKLN’s proposal for a referendum on raising its student levy goes before RyeSAC’s board of directors.
If successful, the referendum would raise CKLN’s student fees to $14.03 from $8.03 a year in 2000, giving the station $165,259 from students every year, or 86 per cent of its 1997 operating revenue.
Station manager Conrad Collaco stresses the additional money is desperately needed to pay off the $129,845 debt CKLN has accumulated.
In unaudited financial statements CKLN sent to RyeSAC’s board, Collaco predicts that as early as 2003 the station will turn a profit of almost $86,000 at which point he hopes the station can reduce the fee again to lessen its reliance on student money.
“If we were actually coming to a place where we were making an $86,000 [annual] surplus, I think it’d be a great idea if we could reduce the student fees,” Collaco said.
He said the initial money raised by the increased fee would be used to hire a full-time advertising director who would be responsible for increasing fundraising and grant revenues, to replace CKLN’s current ad hoc approach to getting advertising.
By Collaco’s projections, in six years the additional staff member will raise 42 per cent more money for fundraising and advertising — fundraising to $95,000 in 2003 from $42,056 in 1997 and advertising to $80,000 from $32,831.
CKLN’s referendum question must be approved first by RyeSAC’s board and then by Ryerson’s board of governors.
RyeSAC president David Steele said RyeSAC’s board will discuss the proposal this Thursday. “If there is a problem I think the unaudited financial statements will be it — that’ll be a big issue,” Steele said.
If the request to hold a referendum passes all stages, students will probably cast their votes March 30, during board of governors elections.
CKLN’s proposed referendum question:
CKLN Radio Inc. 88.1 FM is a student-funded community radio station located here at Ryerson. CKLN’s operating expenses have almost tripled over the last twelve years, forcing the station into debt and threatening its existence.
Currently $8.03 per full-time program student is allocated towards the operation of CKLN, from the RyeSAC fee, totaling approximately $90,000 annually.
CKLN is requesting that RyeSAC increase its per student contribution by $6, an increase of approximately $70,500 annually. The spending priorities for these additional funds would be:
1) Payment of essential operating bills
2) Debt Repayment
3) Emergency equipment repairs
Are you in favour of an increase in the RyeSAC fee of $6 per student per year, to be collected in the fall term, commencing September 2000; this increase will go fund CKLN Radio Inc., bringing the CKLN Radio Inc. fee to a total of $14.03 per student per year?