Tuesday, April 28, 2009

KSCR Facing Potential Budget Cuts from Student Government

I just heard that USC's student radio station KSCR is in danger of losing funding from their student government ($5,000, which is a portion of their overall budget) and that there's a Student Senate vote about this issue TONIGHT. According to an article in the Daily Trojan:

"The student-run independent radio station KSCR will lose all of its allocated funding ($5,000 in the 2008-09 year) as it becomes financially independent from USG, although it can still request money from the discretionary funding board.

'From the beginning our agreement with KSCR was that it would be an independent organization, not dependent on USG,' [incoming Treasurer Ashwin] Appiah said.

Over the last few years, USG has been cutting its funding of the station by nearly 50 percent each year, and when KSCR did not respond to budget inquiries from USG this year, the committee decided to cut its funding altogether."

From what I've heard, this attempt to completely cut off funding for the student radio station came without warning. Even though KSCR does mostly survive based on donations and underwriting, every little bit of cash is crucial for non-commercial stations. It's also a nice gesture for schools to show their support for student media by kicking in some funding for college radio.

If you're a student at USC or a KSCR listener and this issue is important to you, the Student Senate meeting is tonight at 7 pm in Doheney Library in Intellectual Commons at University of Southern California (USC).


jacksleeve said...

They should contact George Lucas for a big donation. He's former student and already given big to their mass comm dept. He's also someone who knows the value of audio since he created THX sound.
Just a thought

mk said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm on staff at KSCR. Some alumni have begun a campaign to raise an endowment, but they'll need to raise $1M before the university system allows them to funnel money to the station through it. It'll be years before KSCR will see those funds. Most of our operating budget comes from a company called University Communications, through whom we outsource the underwriting of public services announcements. Apparently the students who put together the student senate budget were under the impression we had other funding from the school and additional sources of revenue. We made a good case for support from the student government at the meeting and have retained a line in their budget for $2550, just over 1/2 our budget from the previous year. We also got a better sense of how the student senate allocates its funds and hope to increase their financial support in the coming year. It's been difficult for the student volunteers running the station to carry out the kinds of fund raising campaigns that support larger stations without professional training or other resources. In the meantime, if you've got G. Lucas's contact info, we'll take it.

Jennifer Waits said...

Wow, that's interesting that an endowment has to reach such a high level before it can be used.

Good luck with your fundraising campaign!