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Campus Radio Stations & Student Newspapers Demand reversal on Ford’s fee policy

  • March 5, 2019- Campus radio stations and newspapers may have to shut off the radio and turn off the printing presses if Ford’s proposal to change student funding goes ahead without amendment.

Campus radio stations across Ontario have jointly issued an urgent appeal after the release last month of the provincial Conservative policy to decimate student funding for campus activities. The policy, ironically named the Student Choice Initiative,  will reverse democratic student referendums wherein students voted to fund services on campus- including newspapers and radio.

Each university’s fee structure differs, but many campus stations rely on the fees for as much as 90% of an annual budget. Campus radios have fixed costs such as music royalty payments, emergency broadcasting infrastructure, towers and transmission and more.

“The Ontario Conservative government’s Student Choice Initiative will defund our station’s core funding, making it virtually impossible to continue to offer students access to volunteer and career training in the creative community environment they crave,” said Tiina Flank – Station Manager for LU Radio –CILU 1027fm.

Several campus media groups are also launching a petition to reverse the policy this week and plan to deliver support letters to Queen’s Park.

“This policy is a threat to the freedom of the press and to non-profit media.” says Jacob Dubé, editor of Ryerson’s student newspaper The EyeOpener.

Dubé pointed out that campus media employs over 300 students and young people every academic year.

“This is also about jobs. Students need jobs at their campus paper or radio station to pay for rent and tuition,” he added.  “They need these jobs to build a portfolio.”

Ryerson University student Shauna Cox certainly agreed.

“For me personally, I wouldn’t have the portfolio and job opportunities that I have without the CJRU. My resume has increased significantly by the amount of segments I have been able to be a part of at CJRU 1280AM, “ said Cox.

“I rely on my job not only for monetary reasons but also the personal fulfillment it brings. This job has connected me with the community of Thunder Bay,” said Megan Landman, Lakehead University student and Lakehead University Radio’s Music Director.

#DefendCampusRadio

For more information contact:

The National Campus and Community Radio Association
Barry Rooke – barry@ncra.ca – 613-321-1440

The Canadian University Press : Ontario Representative
Jacob Dubé: editor@theeyeopener.com