The campus community radio station CFRU could disappear this fall if not enough students continue to opt-in to the program, the Guelph Arts Council has warned.
Earlier this year the province announced the Student Choice Initiative, allowing university and college students to opt-out of certain ‘ancillary fees”.
It triggered province-wide backlash from student unions, clubs and other organizations that are funded semester after semester by these fees, normally mandatory. The University of Guelph will be impacted.
CFRU, a member of the Arts Council, falls under the funding now optional.
Bruce Matthews, a CFRU volunteer, said in a post released by the Arts Council that the radio station “goes a long way to giving the school an identity in the community.”
The radio station club was told to “tentatively told to budget for about 50 per cent or less” but CFRU will only be able to operate at whatever amount of money comes in.
“And this is not a one time thing, it’s going to be happening every single semester,” outreach director Andrea Patehviri said.
“It will actually eliminate choice, because the students might be able to choose this semester whether they want to opt in or out of CFRU, but if enough people opt out then CFRU will be gone, and the students who want CFRU in the future won’t have the choice to have one.”
The radio station has formed a Community Advisory Committee to try to save the station. CFRU released a statement earlier this year saying the optional student fees “robs students of their democracy”.
For anyone that wants to help out, the Arts Council says that they can join the advisory committee by emailing administrators and contacting the member of provincial parliament to stress the SCI’s impact.
Largely led by the Canadian Federation of Students’ Ontario division, thousands of post-secondary students have participated in rallies across the province and to the doorsteps of Queen’s Park since the SCI was announced.
CFRU has been on the air since 1980.