Nearly one-third of UWindsor students opted out of paying campus radio fees

Nearly one-third of UWindsor students opted out of paying campus radio fees

The University of Windsor's CJAM campus radio station will enter its annual fall fundraising drive knowing it won't have $31,400 this school year.

Roughly 29 per cent of UWindsor students took advantage of new rules introduced earlier this year by the Ontario Progressive Conservative (PC) government allowing students to opt out of "non-essential non-tuition fees, choosing to opt out of fees intended for the CJAM station.

The provincial government made its student fees announcement in January, deeming "fees used to fund major, campus-wide services and facilities or fees which contribute to the health and safety of students" as mandatory. 

As a result of nearly one-third of UWindsor students choosing to opt out of paying fees for the school's radio stations, CJAM has been forced to cut back on staff, even going so far as eliminating a paid, part-time music director position.

"We also have had many events trying to generate funds, as well as interest in the station around the campus and in the community," said Brady Holek, CJAM's station manager.

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Holek said he wasn't surprised that so many students had chosen to opt out of paying so-called non-essential student fees, adding that he was opt-out numbers weren't "extremely high like some other stations."

CJAM's fall fundraising drive starts Friday and will continue until Nov. 15. 

Holek said money raised during the fundraiser accounts for 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the station's annual budget. 

Stacey Janzer/CBC

"We definitely depend on this money during the fundraiser to maintain basic operations, so anywhere between $25,000 and $30,000 usually," he said. 

Emily Chiarvesio, program director at CJAM, said the station's fundraising efforts have "gotten a lot of response."

"We've been doing a lot of work to just spread the news and get the word out there about what's happening at CJAM," she said.