RSU lets student funding flow back into CKLN

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By Carys Mills

After months of waiting, CKLN has signed a fee agreement with the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).

The agreement gives CKLN access to about $200,000 of funds from student fees, according to Toby Whitfield, RSU vice-president finance and services.

“We’ve been operating with no money basically,” said Ron Nelson, chair of CKLN’s board of directors, who confirmed the agreement was signed on Monday. Nelson said the board has been calling the RSU once a day to get an update on funding.

“Now that this has been done, we can move forward and rebuild the station,” said Andrew Lehrer, the board’s secretary. He said the board had been waiting for funding since July.

The radio station gets closer to $300,000 in funds from student fees, but before the agreement was signed, the RSU fronted funds for operating and legal costs and repaying debts.

The last fee agreement was penned in 1982 so the framework was updated, according to Whitfield.

“It was very outdated to how things actually happened,” Whitfield said. He said the agreement only determines the distribution of funds from the students’ union to the radio station. That money comes from the university but passes through the RSU first. The amount distributed to the station is determined by a cost-of-living adjustment, which is altered based on inflation.

In December, the RSU negotiated with Ryerson and the radio station about paying off about $27,000 that was owed to the university for administrative fees like changing locks and operating telephones, Whitfield said.

“As a new board, we weren’t aware of this bill,” Nelson said.

He is part of a board elected in July with the task of getting CKLN back on the air after infighting between board members and management.

“We’re basically walking around cleaning up manure left from past sloppy administrations,” Nelson said.

He refused to release the radio station’s total deficit, but said there have been other surprising bills, like money owing to the Canada Revenue Agency and outstanding legal fees.

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