CFRC fee gets nod

Station fee may increase from $5.07 to $7.50, a huge boost before official separation from AMS on May 1

Brenna Owen and Eric McElroy present at Assembly.
Brenna Owen and Eric McElroy present at Assembly.

CFRC successfully lobbied for a fee increase at AMS Assembly last night.

In Motion 5, CFRC proposed raising its mandatory fee from $5.07 to $7.50, an increase of $2.43. AMS Assembly carried the motion by a majority, with two votes against it.

The vote sends the CFRC fee to the AMS Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will take place on March 18.

The fee must be approved at the AGM, where any AMS member can vote before it can be raised.

The fee increase has taken on extra urgency as CFRC transitions to full financial autonomy, effective May 1.

A new budget model at the University has faculties paying rent for space on campus and, as CFRC transitions to financial autonomy, the University intends to implement this model with it as well.

CFRC will have to begin paying fees in 2017, and says that the increased fee will allow it to absorb rent expenses, as well as upgrade its facilities and revitalize the station.

Brenna Owen and Eric McElroy made the case for the fee increase at the meeting, describing the station revitalization that CFRC will use the funds for.

“I’m incredibly grateful that the members of Assembly were able to see the station’s value and to see the work that the station has done this year,” McElroy, Sci ’16, said after the presentation.

“The station has put in a lot of long hours trying to revamp itself, especially after the devastating loss last year, and today … we showed that it was apparent that there had been that work done.”

Owen, ArtSci ’14, and McElroy said because Queen’s doesn’t have journalism or media programs, CFRC is a valuable resource to students looking for journalistic experience.

AMS Media Services Director Devin McDonald presented a slideshow on CFRC’s financial situation, outlining four possible scenarios: the status quo, raised rent without a fee increase, raised rent with a fee increase of one dollar and raised rent with the $2.43 raise.

In all scenarios but the final one, CFRC was slated to run a deficit every year after it began to pay rent.

Assembly members spoke passionately in favor of the fee increase and keeping CFRC afloat.

The next step for the CFRC fee is the AMS AGM in March.

“I hope that a lot of people will come out, people who will inform themselves of the issues, people who are open to our sides of the case,” McElroy said.

“I’m very hopeful that it will pass.” Tyler Lively, member-at-large, contested the decision to bypass the fee increase in the referendum.

“Tonight, AMS Assembly let CFRC pull a fast one on students. CFRC refused to consult regular students through a referendum process, and instead are going to stack the March AMS AGM in their favour,” Lively, ArtSci ’16, said.

“In bypassing a democratic referendum, CFRC showed that they are scared of facing students.”

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