On Ryerson University’s Toronto campus Tuesday, newspaper boxes and streetlight polls were been plastered with advertisements urging students to vote for a new student-owned radio station in a referendum next week. The old campus station, CKLN-FM, was famously shut down in a rare move by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commision in January. “York University has one,” reads one poster created by supporters of a new station.
But will that be enough to convince students? The cost, a mandatory $10.35 charged annually to each and every student, has caused an opposition group to organize against the proposal. The vote will happen between Oct. 24 and 26. Mark Single, a fourth-year engineering student, started the No to Ryerson Radio Committee: “Supporters see this as another way to grab money from students’ pockets who don’t have money in the first place,” he told The Eyeopener.
Not only that. Single argues that a new station will likely end up with the same types of problems CKLN encountered. Those problems, according to the CRTC ruling, included “significant infighting,” a seven-month lockout where an intermittent loop of programming was played and lack of “any significant quality-control mechanism for its programming.”
Ryerson’s student union will host a forum on Oct. 20 where each side can make their case.
On the topic of fees, a full-time undergrad English student at Ryerson pays $469.63 annually in student union and other mandatory fees (including $295.00 for a health and dental plan).