Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turmoil at CKLN continues

Posted on Thursday, November 6, 2008
Written by Vanessa Greco for the Eyeopener

CKLN 88.1 FM can no longer book rooms at the Student Campus Centre (SCC) after their Annual General Meeting (AGM) escalated into a shouting match. The meeting ended when police were called to remove dismissed volunteers and other community members who wanted to attend.

"This isn't the first time police have been called. It's just become unacceptable," said Michael Verticchio, interim general manager at Oakham House.

"CKLN has lost their booking privileges until they prove they can hold a peaceful meeting."

The campus-community radio station's AGM on Oct. 29 was supposed to be an opportunity to discuss a pending financial report, union negotiations and announce their new station manager, Sam Snapp. But, when CKLN managers called the police to remove community members who were attempting to join in, SCC executives pulled the plug on CKLN's meeting and booking privileges.

Jeremy Salter, chair of the Student Campus Centre board, said CKLN managers booked two rooms on Oct. 29 — one to host their meeting and the other to mislead "unwanted community members" hoping to attend. According to Salter, when the unexpected guests discovered the real meeting location, CKLN staff members refused to open doors and instead alerted police.

"The whole situation is extremely undemocratic," said Salter, adding that constant police presence is unnerving for students and not desired in the SCC. Before their SCC booking privileges were revoked, CKLN was already facing financial strain from the Ryerson Students' Union (RSU). The RSU is withholding more than $100,000 from the station until infighting involving their board of directors is resolved.

"It is student money and we want to make sure we're giving it to the right people," said Toby Whitfield, VP finance and services and RSU rep on CKLN's board. Peter Toh, an MBA student and host of the CKLN show Africa United, said he is saddened by the decision to withhold money.

"It is disheartening to know that the RSU and CKLN cannot find common ground."

Between withheld student money, the dismissal of more than 25 volunteer programmers, conflict surrounding their board of directors and revoked SCC booking privileges, newly-minted station manager Sam Snapp admits he has his hands full.

"There's a lot of dissent that's grown and it's time to take the station back to the basics," said Snapp.

"Right now, the station is in a position where it has a good chance to rebuild."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a volunteer was reportedly blamed for letting the outsiders into the real meeting room and subsequently dismissed. also, word is that the production guy has left.