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Vancouver Island community radio station banned from college campus

Canadian newspapers and TV stations say that community station Radio Malaspina CHLY 107.7 has been told to stop hosting events at Vancouver Island University‘s Nanaimo campus. VIU’s administration is restricting CHLY’s access to the school due to the “drugs, drunkeness, and general debauchery” that allegedly took place the last time the signal held an event there.

The conditions of the facility that CHLY used for its last Halloween event “could be described as filthy,” a VIU school official told A-News TV. “There was broken glass, there was alcohol bottles thrown around. Other debris was laying around the facility as well.” A letter sent to the station also cited illegal drug use.

It’s unclear from these reports why the campus waited such a long time to make this decision. Jesse Schroeder of the Radio Malespina Society calls the allegations “fairly severe” and untrue. “At the end of the event the place was clean and there was no damage,” Schroeder says. The station’s program director also insists that the event “had gone smoothly, with no major problems,” according to Nanaimo Daily News.

CHLY worries that without access to the campus and its students, the signal is at risk of losing its Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission license. Schroeder cites the CRTC’s recent move against the license of Canadian station CKLN-FM, which serves Ryerson University in downtown Toronto.

Accused of destructive infighting, the Commission also determined that CKLN lacks “any significant quality-control mechanism for its programming” and has had “little involvement from the Ryerson University student body despite its status as a campus radio station.” Since then, the CRTC has granted a stay of its decision to revoke the license, and the frequency is asking for community support.

And we’ve gotten some feedback from our story on CKLN suggesting that the station is mending its fences.

I can also tell you from working with the current board, that since they got elected in October of 2009 they *have* been working diligently to get things back on track, including: renegotiating agreements with the student union about their levy and with the landlord regarding their space, bringing back volunteers who had been dismissed during the troubles, recruiting new student volunteers, retraining 170 old and new volunteers about CRTC regulations and implementing new policies about profanity, getting back to a full and regular programming schedule, fundraising more than $50,000 from the community, reporting monthly to the CRTC and filing all their old and current returns, creating new program logs and getting new equipment to ensure the quality of their digital audio logs, holding regular (and open to the public) Board meetings, paying off all back debts and starting the process of hiring a station manager. And all this was done by volunteers!

There’s been conflict between Radio Malespina and VIU before. Last September the station accused VIU parking security staff of attempting to interrupt a station performance event on campus and trying to ticket volunteer vehicles (see YouTube video below).

Anyway, the TV report says both sides are talking, and hopefully they’ll work it out. The singer in this video sounds really good, by the way.



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One Response to Vancouver Island community radio station banned from college campus

  1. Steve Flugum October 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Hiya, you raucous knobs!

    We’re a rockin’ Blues band from Chicago whose members have played with such notables as Muddy Waters, Hubert Sumlin and Johnny Winter, to name a few.Wondering if you’d be willing to play our hit original on your station, “Ordinary Man.” We know you’ll like us–please check out our Website for some tunes and videos. A couple of us will be on your beautiful Island next week, Oct. 11-13 and we’d like to stop by if we can. Please get in touch with me by e-mail or phone, 847-401-3513, and let me know when’s a good time! Thanks, Steve Flugum (Flugey)

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