Students to vote on proposal calling for a student fee for funding campus radio station.

Catherine Damron

Western’s campus radio station, Revolution 91.7-WWHR, is one step closer in receiving additional funding through a possible student fee.

The Student Government Association unanimously approved a bill Tuesday night that will allow students to decide if they would be willing to pay a $3 student fee that will go toward Revolution 91.7’s operating budget.

Students will make that decision during SGA general elections on April 2-3 when a referendum about the proposal will be placed on the ballot. If students vote for the proposal, if will passed on to the Board of Regents, who will make the final vote.

SGA executive vice president John Bradley said the Board of Regents would probably make the decision at its next quarterly meeting May 9, if the students favor the referendum.

During the meeting, Bradley reminded congress members that they are not voting for a student fee, but for an opportunity for students to voice their opinion on the matter.

“I think it’s a good idea, because it sets a precedence and (we’ll have greater voter turnout) because it’s such a strong issue,” Bradley said. “They’re a great radio station, and with a lack of funds, they’re being limited.”

Marjorie Yambor, an instructor for the School of Journalism and Broadcasting and the station’s adviser, said Revolution 91.7 has a $7,000 operating budget.

“It really can’t be done. It’s an absolute joke in regard to the things we have to do,” Yambor said at the meeting. “It’s impossible to be a competitive radio station and give the student body what they need. We’re in dire need of money, and this is the best idea we’ve come up with; it’s a simple request.”

Revolution 91.7’s program director, Louisville senior Dan Gaddie, said that the college radio station at New York University has a multi-million dollar budget.

Western’s station has had the same budget since 1998, Gaddie said. The station needs additional funding to replace rundown equipment.

Louisville junior Troy Ransdell, an SGA congress member, said he felt that Revolution 91.7 should be entitled to get student funding.

“SGA spent $4,000 on office supplies alone: pens, paper and key chains. $7,000 is hardly enough to fund a radio station,” Ransdell said.

But Adairville junior John Law, another SGA Congress member, said that making students pay $3 a semester would contribute too much money to Revolution 91.7’s budget.

“It seems like the station can be funded with $7,000. $3 seems like an arbitrary amount to throw out,” he said. “I’m not against the radio station, but $6 a year is more than just an increase; it’s a power.

“My biggest concern is that not many students will take the time to get online and vote. SGA should hold (elections) during registration time, when students are already online.”