The campus community radio station CJAM has eliminated its paid music director position and been rallying local support to maintain its operations while students opt out of paying its levy.
Station manager Brady Holek reports that about 29 per cent of students chose to opt out in the fall semester, in the average range across the province, representing a $15,700 reduction in its budget. A similar opt-out rate in the winter would mean an annual loss of more than $31,000.
“We aren’t happy to see this funding go, especially since we only had a few months’ notice, but things could be a lot worse,” Holek says. “It’s been incredible to see so many members of the community stepping up to help us out.”
He says the response from performance venues, musicians, and listeners has helped to create a financial cushion, giving him reason to look forward to CJAM’s future.
“We are very lucky to have so many community supporters who believe in the promotion of local, independent, non-commercial music and programming,” says Holek. “If the past few months have shown me anything, it’s that local artists, venues, and the community at large believe in the CJAM mandate.”
The station will launch its annual week-long fall pledge drive on Friday, Nov. 8, and Holek notes it has already received a valuable contribution — Local 1393 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, representing the UWindsor trades, technical, and professional staff, sponsored the T-shirts offered as a donor incentive.
“This is huge for us. Without CUPE 1393 sponsoring the t-shirts we would not have the ability to provide them as a thank-you to our donors,” he says. “The fall fundraiser is extremely important for us because it represents a significant portion of our annual budget and is essential in maintaining our ability to broadcast.”
Donations to the station can be made online at cjam.ca, by calling 519-971-3630 in Windsor and 1-855-344-2526 in Detroit, or in-person through Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.