Manager puts skin on the line for CFRC

Duncan to get tattoo if $5,000 is raised

Few people love their jobs as much as CFRC Programming Manager Eric Duncan.

“CFRC has been a part of my life for five years,” he said. “It’s been around almost as long as Queen’s has in my life. It’s outlasted all of my friends and every relationship.”

So Duncan has decided to take his commitment to a new level.

He has promised to tattoo the CFRC logo onto his body if the station’s first funding drive reaches its goal of $5,000.

The tattooing will be held at noon on Feb. 10 in the Lower Ceilidh of the JDUC.

Duncan has already hired an artist, adding he is more than willing to put some skin on the line.

“I figure it’s the very least I can do to help the station raise some money,” he said. “I’m more than happy to do it.” The station at 101.9 FM embarked on the first funding drive in its 84-year history on Jan. 27. The fundraiser runs until Feb. 5.

Sayyida Jaffer, CFRC business manager, said the station decided to undertake a funding drive because of the 2003 transfer of station ownership from the University to the AMS.

“Over the three-year transfer, the first year the University paid for the operation of the CFRC [as it had in the past],” she said. “The second and third year they paid $48,000 to contribute to operations in time of transition.”

Jaffer said the station is currently in the third year of the transfer program and will be fully integrated into the AMS this May.

“Give that this grant will no longer be available starting May 2006, we knew we had to pursue other sources of funding,” she said. “The only reason CFRC has never done [a funding drive before] is because we’ve never needed to.”

Although Jaffer said the station hopes this $5,000 will go towards their current budget deficit of $7,000, future funding drives will raise money for operating costs.

“This funding drive is a dry-run and practice for future years to do this on an annual basis, and hopefully raise more money,” she said.

Duncan said he hopes the station will soon be able to run without relying on support from the AMS.

“The AMS is going to foot the bill, but not for as long as we’d like,” he said. “So this is our first step into the water of trying to become financially sustainable.” It costs $120,000 a year to run CFRC, and the station receives $60,000 in student fees each year.

“Obviously, we have many ideas about raising more money,” she said. “I think CFRC should consider going back to referendum next year to increase the student fee.”

Students currently pay a mandatory fee of $3.75 to help keep CFRC on the air.

Although CFRC is based on campus, Jaffer said it has a lot to offer the entire community.

“We’re not supposed to sound like commercial radio or the BBC,” she said. “Because we’re in local pockets, we’re supposed to cater to the community. That means Queen’s and the entire city.”

Duncan agreed.

“There are very few stations out there that really do [cater to the community] in terms of our spoken word programming, our news, and especially our music,” he said.

Jaffer said she hopes listeners will tune in and donate, so that station volunteers can keep doing what they love.

“In addition to programming, CFRC strives to help students and community members develop broadcasting skills,” she said. “We do a number of things to contribute to the community, because that’s what we’re here to do.”

As for Duncan, he said he hopes his public tattooing will go ahead as planned.

“I am very optimistic that we will raise the money,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll regret the tattoo. We’ll see.”

The station has been co-sponsoring numerous events during the funding drive, including concerts and a Spoken Word Open Mic at the Common Ground.

This week, Kardinall Offishall will perform at the Elixir on Thursday, and Controller.Controller with OK Go will play two shows at The Grad Club on Friday.

All proceeds from both shows will go to support CFRC.

Donations are also being accepted by phone at 533-CFRC, online at cfrc.ca or in person at the station in the basement of Carruthers Hall.

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