Where Do We Go From Here? A Letter to CFRC Alumni

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Dear CFRC Alumni and Fellow Supporters of Campus-Community Radio.

As many of you have likely heard, the Ontario Provincial Government is implementing significant changes to university tuition and ancillary student fees.  These changes will remove mandatory ancillary student fees, giving students the ability to opt out of all fees, save those considered essential services.  CFRC has continued over the years to continue collecting mandatory fees through student democratic choice made through referenda.  CFRC, however, will now no longer be able to collect a mandatory fee already approved by undergraduate students because its service is not deemed essential. 

The $7.50 we currently receive from each member of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) and the SGPS constitute 70% of CFRC’s operating budget.  Simply put, in September, students will have the opportunity to opt out of making that payment.  At this point, we, like other campus stations across the province, have no way of knowing how much money we will make or lose through this new opt out process. 

Over the last several months, under the leadership of Dinah Jansen, our Station Manager, CFRC has undertaken several measures to try to make radio more relevant to the student community.  Some of which include ...

  • Focusing more programming on student driven interests and initiatives.
  • Establishing new student employment opportunities at the station
  • Stepping up our on-campus engagements, activities, service and partnerships
  • Establishing a podcast network, currently offering 25 programs, with almost 7,500 episodes downloaded in less than a year, with much of the content created by students.

At the same time, we continue to seek out additional income streams to reduce our dependency on student fees.   Over the past year, we have significantly increased our advertising revenue by ramping up our community engagement and building new and strong relationships  But we need to do more!

CFRC Radio turns 97 years old this fall.  We need your help to ensure the station continues to provide the programming, the training, and the employment opportunities for students as well as members of the Greater Kingston community into our second century!. 

100th Anniversary:  We need alumni to help us  plan for our centenary celebrations.  If you are interested in being a part of this centenary steering committee, or if you have ideas on what we could be doing to acknowledge this milestone, please let me know

Alternate Source of Income:  Dinah and I have met with the Queen’s University Interim Provost Tom Harris. He assures us that the University wants to see us continue.  He has kindly referred us to Advancement with a view to helping us generate more sizeable donations – money that we hope to access to make up for any shortfall in student fees and sustain our operational capacity.  To that end, I am asking you to help us identify donors - CFRC and/or Queen’s Alumni, Friends of Campus/Community Radio, various Foundations, etc. - donors, with ‘deep pockets’ who are willing to help with donations. I know this is a tall order but these are exceptionally precarious times and CFRC will need this flexibility to continue, adapt (given the uncertain future of ‘over-the-air' radio) and flourish

Support: Whether you live close to the city or not, we also need you to promote CFRC.  The station is available online at www.cfrc.ca ; our podcasts are available at https://podcast.cfrc.ca .  We have social media touchpoints on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with about 10,000 followers among them.  Please, tune in!  Please tell folks in your networks to tune in!  Please tell your alumni friends to connect with and support us!

 If you do live close to the city, please do consider serving on our Board or any of our committees.  We would welcome your input.  We would also love to welcome alumni back as volunteers on our airwaves and/or podcasts!

I firmly believe that CFRC has a bright future and I will continue to keep you informed about developments with our situation.  If you have comments or suggestions, please let me know.  My e-mail address is board@cfrc.ca.   Thank you for your continued support of Radio Queen’s University!

 

Dave Cunningham

President, Board of Directors

Radio Queen’s University

 

 

 

 

Dave Cunningham, Arts ’72, President, RQU, Board of Directors since January 2019.  Dave was a student volunteer at the station from 1969 thru 1972.  From there, he spent 18 years at CKWS Radio.  In 1990, he moved into financial services at Investors Group.  Dave retired in 2015 and returned to CFRC as a community volunteer.

Dinah Jansen, ArtSci ’07, PhD ’15.  Station Manager, CFRC since October 2017.  Dinah became a student volunteer in 2005 and continued with spoken word and music programming through her undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Before becoming Station Manager, she worked with the School of Graduate Studies and as a contract instructor in the Department of History at Queen’s. 

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