SGA to vote tonight for referendum for student funds to go to radio station

Catherine Damron

Because of the efforts of Western’s radio station, students might see a higher price tag on their tuition and fees bill next semester.

Tonight the Student Government Association will vote on a bill that will enable Western students to decide on a referendum that calls for the university to charge students $3 to help fund the budget of Western’s radio station, Revolution 91.7-WWHR.

If SGA approves the bill, students will vote on the referendum during SGA’s general elections on April 2-3. If students approve the referendum, a recommendation will be passed to the Board of Regents.

Dan Gaddie, the station manager for Revolution 91.7, said they circulated a petition that included about 1,100 signatures, which were obtained within two to three weeks. Only 750 signatures were required for SGA to consider the measure.

The petition has been approved by the Legislative Research Committee and the Ad Hoc Internal Affairs Committee.

Gaddie said the money will greatly help the radio station.

The station is currently funded by the School of Journalism and Broadcasting and a limited amount of sponsorships. Since the station is under Public Broadcasting System laws, they have a lot of restrictions, Gaddie said.

“We’re very underfunded right now, and with this money we are trying to help the students have a more enjoyable campus radio station,” he said.

Gaddie said if the Board of Regents approves the recommendation, it would go into effect this coming school year. But students who do not want to pay the money can get a refund.

They will receive their refund during the first week of classes, Gaddie said.

John Bradley, SGA’s vice president, said Congress will likely vote in favor of putting the referendum on the spring ballot.

“It’s a vote to empower students to let SGA make an effort to the radio station for a referendum they believe they need,” Bradley said. “It’s the decision of the Board of Regents whether or not to act on it.”

Students pay fees that go toward the budgets of SGA and the Campus Activities Board. Approximately $17,000 from the allotted SGA organizational budget is dispersed to other student organizations.

Bradley said any campus organization should be able to produce a similar referendum for funding as long as a petition with a minimum of 750 signatures is approved by SGA.

Western students had mixed emotions about the station’s proposal.

Louisville sophomore Jennifer Neyerlin said she would donate three dollars, but she doesn’t think it should be tacked on to everyone’s tuition.

“If the radio station can do it, why can’t every other organization on campus do the same thing?” Neyerlin asked.

Bowling Green junior Lacey Chapman said she is willing to pay the extra three dollars and has signed the petition.

“I think it’s a good idea. They play really unique music, and more people should listen to them,” Chapman said.

Reach Catherine Damron at [email protected]