Saturday, October 25, 2014
Last updated: 1 day ago

CiTR: Your Community Radio Station?

Sometime next term, you will be asked if you support a dollar increase in your student fees to go towards funding CiTR. While a dollar might not seem like much, we believe that an increase in funding to a student organization on that level must be justified by an increase in services.

Though subsidized almost entirely by a per student fee of three dollars, CiTR calls itself a “community” radio station. This is an important distinction, because there are very few ways in which CiTR can legitimately call itself a student radio station. Of the 80 plus shows that CiTR has on the air, only 15 per cent are actually produced by students. The remainder of CiTR’s DJs and many of the staff are not students. They are faculty, alumni and community members who have been grandfathered into the radio station and have stuck around for many years on the basis of seniority. Students, who pay for the operation of CiTR, are by and large not the ones operating the station.

CiTR’s management is concerned about these numbers, and they’re interested in recruiting more students. But there has been no real impetus to change things around the station. The management says part of the reason for the low percentage is because not many students want a radio show. But the onus is on CiTR to create a comprehensive plan to change this—not blame students.

So what would the extra dollar get you? Would it be used to fundamentally change CiTR’s presence on campus, to make their services more student friendly? To make CiTR a campus radio station?

With the current proposal, as outlined by the management, not much changes. There’s free DJ training, which right now only members get. Which reminds us that currently, membership for CiTR isn’t free for students—it costs $20.

We fully support CiTR as it continues to evolve, and think of it as a media partner on this campus. But before management ask students for more money, they should deliver more bang for the buck for their shareholders.