CFRC proposed fee increase denied

The station could face cuts to services and staff, operations manager says

CFRC’s fee increase will go before the SGPS later this month.
CFRC’s fee increase will go before the SGPS later this month.
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After CFRC’s resolution to increase their student fee was voted down at AMS Assembly, Operations Officer Kristiana Clemens said she’s concerned about the future of the station.

Had Assembly members voted in favour, the vote would then have been put to students at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

“This situation is at a crisis point and needs to be resolved if Queen’s is going to keep its campus station,” Clemens said, adding that the station currently receives among the lowest student fees comparable to other campus radio stations country-wide.

The average campus radio station in Canada receives about 65 per cent of their funds from student fees, while CFRC receives about 46 per cent of their funds from such fees.

As it stands, the AMS student fee is $5.03 and the SGPS fee is $3.27, while the average student fee for campus radio stations is about $10.75 in Canada.

CFRC looked to increase the AMS student fee to $7.50 per student and still hopes to raise the SGPS fee to that amount.

A vote of two-thirds is required to bring a motion to the AGM, which the proposed fee increase didn’t receive.

Clemens said CFRC’s budgeted deficit this year was between $5,000 to $10,000, but that their actual projected deficit is $15,000 to $20,000, as it has been in the past.

CFRC will work to secure the SGPS fee increase through referendum, which will occur on March 26 and 27.

If the SGPS vote doesn’t pass, CFRC will be looking at cutting two positions to make up for the deficit, Clemens said.

Currently CFRC operates with five core salaried positions; one permanent full time staff, two mangers, one part-time music coordinator, as well as one Summer Work Experience Program position.

The salaried staff are responsible for training the station’s 250 volunteers, she added.

“When we’re talking about making cuts we’re talking about those five core people,” Clemens said, adding that these positions account for 80 per cent of operating costs.

Clemens said she believes the student government leaders responsible for making these decisions are unfamiliar with the realities of operating the station.

Clemens said she believes producing the same quality of shows with less funding and less staff isn’t feasible.

While CFRC is working to receive the SGPS fee increase, they will continue to work on getting a fee from the AMS in the coming years until they feel they are receiving sufficient funds from student dollars.

“We’re just going to have to keep asking for it,” Clemens said.

Tristan Lee, AMS vice president of operations, said the decision about whether or not to increase the fee was up to the students, since AMS leaders are comprised of a group of representatives elected by students.

Lee, ArtSci ’12 said in forming his personal opinion, he looked at the financial situation of CFRC is the past few years. Through this, he determines how a fee increase would affect CFRC moving forward.

Lee said he believes that restructuring their staff is another route CFRC could take instead of a fee increase.

“The three [executives] talked about it together quite in depth and decided the stance we would take and decided that we didn’t feel that, and I didn’t feel that, CFRC wouldn’t be able to operate in the coming years without that student fee.”

On Thursday evening, a motion to merge two of the five salaried positions was put forward by the executive at AMS Board of Directors. The motion was tabled, and will be brought up again at the next Board meeting.

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