Ryerson up against radio heavyweight

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By Tamara Jones

If a referendum to submit an application for the 88.1FM frequency passes, the student-run Ryerson Radio will face tough competition from Toronto commercial station Z103.5FM for the airwaves.

Along with Z103.5FM, “there are a lot of commercial applications for it, up to 10, but there are only two or three that are confirmed applicants,” said Jacky Harrison, a volunteer for Ryerson Radio.

The commercial station, Z103.5, said the frequency is better than their own. If Ryerson doesn’t get it, the vacant second-floor Student Campus Centre studio is available for rent. If they do, Ryerson Radio will use the studio space.

The former CKLN frequency came up for grabs earlier this year, opening up a frequency for the first time in 27 years. The CKLN Board of Governors made the decision to dissolve the corporation at a special general meeting on Oct. 11.

“Toronto has enough commercial stations and [the Ryerson Radio] supports local artist and gives students a chance to learn,” Harrison said.

Kolter Bouchard, third-year radio and television arts student, said Ryerson Radio has a two-fold advantage because they are the only new company and the only non-commercial applicant. He believes this guarantees them the frequency to a certain degree.

But aside from the many other competing stations, “the biggest challenge is the vote,” said Harrison. “The students have to vote for it. If they don’t vote, there won’t be an application.”

Harrison said the bid would cost at least $50,000, which is only a portion of the $250,000 taken from students’ 2011-12 tuition for CKLN.

Eleanor Belshaw-Hauff, a representative from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), confirmed the application deadline is Dec. 19.

The Ryerson Radio will have a new Board of Directors. It will consist of three Ryerson students, three Ryerson faculty members and three members of the community to ensure that every group has representatives, said Chris Shank, spokesperson for the Ryerson Radio.

“This is a new group of people who want to bring radio to Ryerson,” Shank said. “We’re putting our ear to the ground and trying to reflect what Ryerson students want to hear. It benefits the entire school.”

A recent survey showed that 86 per cent of students were supportive of the new radio station. But, for the new station to be permitted, 3,000 students will need to cast a ballot and at least 50 per cent of the ballots need to vote yes.

“Vote yes, vote no. Just put your voice out there,” Shank said. “It’s not very often that anyone gets to create a radio station. It’s an exciting time. This is history in the making.”

President Sheldon Levy said a real student-run station is something worth arguing and fighting for.

“It’s hard to tell [what are chances are.] But I have confidence that, if we put together a good case for a student-led RTA-supported type of arrangement, with a strong board, we will be successful,” he said.

The polling stations to vote for the application will be open on Oct. 24, 25 and 26 between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

 

Comments

  1. The RSU was actively involved in changing CKLN from a Ryerson student station to changing it to a “community station” which involved pushing out all the students and bringing in outsiders with their own political agendas while we the students paid almost all of the bills.

    Obviously the Ryerson Student Union wasn’t acting in our best interests.

    There needs to be an audit of what the RSU does with our money, who it goes to, what connections those people or groups have to the RSU its executive or the CFS, and the RSU needs to make the information available to the university and all students.

    The RSU and the CFS have their own agendas and history have proven it isn’t always in the students’ interests.

    I say no to wasting our money on something of no benefit to 99.99% of students, but only for the political agenda of RSU.

    Koulter Bouchard who is pushing this had no problems when he was involved in CKLN that all students were paying for the agendas of non-students and that there seems to be some serious commercial dealing going on behind the scenes.

    Because of the history of deceipt I have no trust that this won’t turn into another CKLN.

    1. Susan, the only “commercial dealing” that would happen is if this initiative fails and the 88.1 frequency goes to a commercial broadcaster instead. You’ve got your insinuation backwards. As for an audit of the RSU, if you actually looked around first you would have seen that the RSU posts it online at http://www.rsuonline.ca/index.php?section_id=153

      1. It sure seems like a couple of the old DJ’s were promoting events they were involved in and had a severe conflict of interest.

        And what about the salaries of the employees that CKLN refused to disclose? How much of our student levies were going to friends of the board?

        1. There’s nothing unusual or wrong with a volunteer DJ saying he’s doing a gig that week. If you listen to CIUT or CHRY or any community station the DJs will do that.

          I think you’re wrong to say CKLN refused to disclose salaries. There was a financial statement at almost every meeting I went to in the last year that included salaries.

          1. In another story Andrew said that anybody who wanted the info could get it by emailing board@ckln.fm and I have received no response at all.

            So if you know these salaries why don’t you post them since all students helped to pay them.

  2. Jacky Harrison isn’t just “a volunteer for Ryerson Radio” she’s the former CKLN station manager who defended the previous incarnation of CKLN.

    Remember this Eyeopener article:
    http://theeyeopener.com/2011/03/ckln-hires-new-station-manager/

    I’m voting NO to this “new CKLN”. I’m not buying into any lip service about how this new station will be different from the old CKLN.

    If you want a station that we fund with no accountability and a money pit; vote yes. If you don’t want your fees to go up vote no.

    Voting NO is a great way to “Reduce Tuition Fees Now”. Ryerson is more than just a “radio” school and if those in the radio department want a radio station they should fund it themselves like Spiritlive.

    1. Leanne, fees aren’t going to “go up” if the referendum passes. All that will happen is that money that currently goes to CKLN will go to the new Ryerson Radio instead so the proposal is revenue neutral.

  3. If “Susan” is a Ryerson student then I’m Lady Gaga. The eyeopener should screen out any comments that aren’t made using a ryerson email account. That would screen out all the vindictive fiftysomething guys who are pretending to be 20 year old undergrads.

  4. Coming from UofT last year, having a voice which represented me on the radio is one of the things I miss most.

    I am voting YES because I trust that the (potential) new station can and will be a voice for the students and not fall into any of CKLN’s mistakes.

  5. I left months before the dissolution of CKLN to begin a new radio station for Ryerson students; upon polling, 86% of respondents were in favour of a new station! Voting yes is a great way to have your voice heard and to participate in a variety of capacities with New Ryerson Radio.

    1. Why should all students pay a total of $300G’s a year so you can be heard.

      Your blog is crude enough and your old program was far worse – I am surprised it was not the reason the CRTC revoked the license.

      1. Why must we resort to public attacks? And I thought all students were paying $10.35, not $300,000.

        Susan, even if you have some valid arguments, they are discredited by the tone of your remarks. Why continue to bring up CKLN? When we all know that CKLN was a gong show and a disaster? Also, this isn’t the first time that Ryerson has switched radio stations. Are you aware that there was a predecessor to CKLN. CJRT was Ryerson’s first radio station. Once it left the Ryerson community, students like the ones found at New Ryerson Radio worked diligently to create a new station. However, the new station evolved into something completely different than what it was originally set-out to do.

        And that’s why we are trying to create a new station, to right CKLN’s wrongs. Aren’t Ryerson students and the Ryerson community deserving of a radio station? U of T, York, Queens et al. have radio stations. I’d say that Ryerson is just as diverse as those Universities and has its own unique voice to be heard. And, not to mention that Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design has two of the foremost and cutting-edge Broadcasting programs in the country.

        Also, if you’re not a fan of Kolter’s shock-jock show, then don’t listen. The shock-jock genre isn’t for everyone; however, it thrives in the medium of radio because people like you are so offended that they continue listening to hear what the DJ will say next. If you want to quell the air-waves of the Kolter’s of the world then stop listening to his show and reading his blog; he thrives on it.

  6. Hi Susan,

    You wrote:
    “In another story Andrew said that anybody who wanted the info could get it by emailing board@ckln.fm and I have received no response at all.”

    I’ve just checked the account and we haven’t received an email from you or anyone else asking for a copy of the audited statements. If you want a copy just email us at board@ckln.fm It’s also a matter of public record since the audited statements have been filed with the CRTC so you can check with them.

    “So if you know these salaries why don’t you post them since all students helped to pay them.”

    Sure. The station manager made $2,209 a month. Her contract concluded at the end of August.

  7. Andrew your statement is false as I sent the request to board@ckln.fm on “Wed, 19 Oct 2011 16:58:53” and that is from the sent email.

    I am wondering if the RSU will be allowing people to view the counting of the votes or if it will be a private affair to decide whether they can keep the $10 per student for over 30,000 students (that is where the over $300,000 figure comes from) or whether they expect students to trust them?

    It is the university that gives the RSU the right to levy these fees against us and they need to be doing audits and having more oversight on these fees against us.

    1. My apologies Susan, I’ve searched for the time you give above and there is an email there. I’m sorry I missed it before. Regardless, I provided links to the audits in my earlier reply and have just emailed the links to you as well. I also replied to your question about salaries – the salaries we’ve been paying are actually quite low.

      In any case, CKLN’s audits have nothing to do with the new station proposal or with the RSU. However, corporations have to file an audited statement each year, this is the case with CKLN and RSU and will also be the case with the new Ryerson radio venture so I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make with repeated queries about audits, especially as you’ve been provided with the information you requested.

      1. One other thing Susan, the main reason I missed your email is that you claimed to be a student so I was looking for something from an @ryerson.ca account but didn’t find anything because you used a hotmail account.

        I just send an email response to what your email address would be if you had a Ryerson email account (ie using the form firstname.lastname@ryerson.ca ). However the message just bounced back because the email address was unknown.

        I’m sorry to ask you this but are you actually a Ryerson student? If so why don’t you have a Ryerson email address and why is it that what should be your Ryerson email address doesn’t work?

        As you may know, there are a few interests out there who are opposed to campus-community radio in general and want to quash the new initiative either because they support commercial radio or because they are vindictive and want not only to destroy CKLN but any Ryerson campus radio station that comes in its place, even if it has nothing to do with CKLN. It’s quite likely, therefore, that these individuals might try to pose as students online in order to try to make their opposition to the proposed station seem credible.

  8. @Susan both the Yes and No campaign committees are allowed to send scrutineers to observe the vote counting. If you are interested you should contact Mark Single, who heads the No campaign and tell him you want to help scrutineer.

  9. I fail to see why Engineering students must pay 10$. Why don’t people in Radio and Arts program pay for that?

    1. AGREE! (except im a nursing student) i dont see why i have to pay for something that won’t help me as a nursing student! there are so many social networking sites and medias that can do a lot more than what a radio can do for us. I don’t see how a radio will benefit most of us. who really listens to radio nowadays anyways? most of us are busy with school work or are listening to musics or just busy with others thing.

  10. I’d say the reason why you pay $10 is the same reason why we fund Athletics, Health Promotions, the RSU, etc – these are student services that not only benefit the students but the community as well – contributing to the overall image of our school.

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