Contrary to the normal state of affairs, CJSW now has a request for students.
At the Jan. 22 meeting, the Students' Legislative Council approved a referendum question to increase the University of Calgary radio station's levy by $1 per semester. The levy is paid by all students regardless of session or status and if the increase is passed CJSW would receive $4 per semester.
"I think what CJSW has proven to the student body and the community at large is that we're a quality broadcaster, and I thinkCJSW has always been responsible about its finances," said CJSW Station Manager Chad Saunders, who addressed council at the meeting.
The referendum question will ask if students are willing to contribute more to the continued operation and maintenance of the station. According to Saunders, the station needs added money not only for the day-to-day things like computers, but also capital purchases like a new broadcasting tower. CJSW is also incurring costs associated with moving and renovating due to expansion.
"One hundred per cent of our operating budget comes from student levies," said Saunders at the SLC meeting. "A dollar increase hopefully isn't too taxing on students."
CJSW first received student levies in 1982, starting at $2 per student per semester. Since a 1987 increase to $3, the levy hasn't changed.
Aside from a handful of questions inquiring on CJSW's current situation, there was no opposition to the referendum question.
"We don't have a journalism program [at the U of C]," noted Students' Union Vice-President Operations and Finance Natasha Dillhon. "I think this is a valuable student service on campus and [current funding] is just not going to meet their needs."
Although the approval of the question by SLC does not guarantee the increase, Saunders feels it is important that the issue be brought to students.
"I think students should be able to make a decision about what they want to get from their fees," he said.
The 2002 SU general elections run March 13--15.