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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    KAMP reps confident about August vote

    After hearing from KAMP Student Radio representatives last Friday, the Arizona Board of Regents’ Tuition Task Force decided to hold a final vote on the radio station’s funding fate during their August meeting.

    Because students overwhelmingly approved the funding by a two-thirds vote for the referendum in March, KAMP representative Melissa Vito is confident the proposed $1 optional student fee will be approved, she said.

    “”It’s a real student-driven piece, so I think it’s got a great shot,”” said Vito, UA vice president of student affairs.

    Student support of the proposed fee was not lost on the board. Student regent David Martinez III commended KAMP for continuing to garner university support.

    “”This continues to be supported by the students,”” he said. “”All students see the benefit of KAMP.””

    KAMP’s road to financial support, following the expiration of its most recent five-year funding period, has been long and uncertain at times. The radio station knows the fight all too well, as it is a necessary hassle that comes around every five years, said Tommy Bruce, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

    When the board began funding KAMP in five-year cycles, the timetable was set to build accountability for the radio station. In the years since, the five-year funding periods have become commonplace, a measure that may need to be addressed, Bruce said.

    In order to avoid such difficulties in the future, the university may spend the next five years attempting to fund KAMP through the UA student activity fee, a $40-per-semester fee that funds certain campus programs and services, he said.

    “”Right now, with the timing of it all, it doesn’t fit,”” Bruce said. “”But in what would be the next five years of KAMP, I think it would be a logical step at that point to build (KAMP funding) into the student activity fee.””

    The student activity fee might not be KAMP’s knight in shining armor. If the station was covered under the activity fee, UA student radio may lose some of its independence, said KAMP General Manager Neema Eshrati.

    “”There are some problems with the fee,”” he said. “”We wouldn’t directly be involved in the fee, and it would take the independence of the fee away from KAMP.””

    If the activity fee were to fund the station, a negative student survey report could cause KAMP to be dropped from the fee, a prospect that concerns Eshrati and KAMP, he said.

    In any case, the radio station’s addition to the student activity fee is just a suggestion that KAMP has yet to act on, as the station’s primary concern lies in the approval of KAMP’s $1 fee in August, Eshrati said.

    While speaking to the regents, Eshrati stressed the importance of KAMP to students’ UA experience, citing the station’s interactive nature as indicative of UA student radio’s attitude toward the university community.

    Vito said KAMP Radio is more than just an interactive tool, because its curriculum gives students the experience and skill set to pursue a future in the radio and music industry. Vito once had a show on KAMP Radio.

    The station has also established its own tradition and growth over the past two decades – growth that would be potentially lost forever if the fee is not approved, she said.

    “”I believe in this program so much,”” Vito said. “”KAMP Student Radio on our campus is truthfully one of my favorite activities.””

    -Alex Dalenberg contributed to this story

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