Campus Activities Board: WIDR needs funds to cover debt

By Gracie Leach
News Writer
Western Herald - October 08, 2002

The Campus Activities Board heard a call for help Monday, as 89.1-FM WIDR General Manager Courtney Weeks asked CAB for funds to pull the radio station out of debt.

WIDR, the student-run radio station at Western Michigan University, ran into trouble after a miscommunication with Kristen Betser, CAB overall advisor.

"For the last five years CAB has helped fund the Barking Tuna Fest, which is the main event that WIDR puts on," Weeks said. "It is extremely important to the radio station, the students that work there, and the community that listens to us."

Weeks went to Betser for help with funding this summer. WIDR needed around $9,000 to help pay for the Barking Tuna Fest.

"I went to Kristen Betser asking for information as to how I needed to go about getting funding from CAB," Weeks said. "What I was told was that it could wait, and that I could worry about it after the fact because last year's Tuna Fest was not funded until after the event."

Weeks continued with the planning of the Barking Tuna Fest, which was held this past weekend.

Unfortunately, Weeks recently learned that asking for funding after an event to pay a debt is restricted per the CAB Constitution.

"I was under the understanding that it was not a problem for me to come after the event and ask for funding," Weeks said. "That is basically why I am in the position that I am in now."

Aside from the help with the Barking Tuna Fest, WIDR is totally self-funded. They are a non-commercial and non-profit organization. They only broadcast underground, independent bands and get their money from a fundraiser held every year.

Matt Luchansky, CAB treasurer, opened the floor for questions and CAB members had many to ask.

Lisa Tellish, Miller Movies coordinator, wanted to know when Weeks found out she would need the money.

"I was under the assumption that CAB budgeted that money for WIDR which is not the case at all, and I was misinformed," Weeks said. "I did not have the right information, and I accept responsibility for that."

According to Weeks, WIDR usually has a member of CAB working with her to relay messages from WIDR to CAB. However, this was not the case this year.

One CAB member wanted to know how long the article had been in the constitution, and if this sort of request had been asked before.

"It has always been stated that CAB cannot fund any previous deficits," Luchansky said. "There have been motions like this before, not of this nature, but there has been abstentions of guidelines."

Luchansky said some of these requests had been approved and some had not.

Many CAB members had points of view to share about suspending the article for WIDR.

Brian Katz, senior majoring in English, was for suspending the article.

"We should at least hear what they have to say," Katz said.

Some CAB members were concerned about letting WIDR have their requests. They thought approving the suspension because WIDR had a close relationship with CAB was excusing ignorance.

Weeks made her final plea before Luchansky closed the discussion.

"If I couldn't get the money from CAB it would be a really tough year for WIDR," Weeks said. "We would not be able to pay our bills."

CAB members could not vote to suspend the article since there were not enough people in attendance to make an educated vote. The issue was tabled until next week.

In other business, Vice President Stephanie Zak announced that due to the low registration of registered student organizations, the Office of Student Activities and Leadership would be registering RSOs one last time.

According to Zak, organizations who are not registered are not recognized on campus.

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