Scarborough Campus Community Radio (SCCR), also known as Fusion Radio, is asking UTSC students to vote ‘Yes’ on a referendum that would nearly triple its current levy.
The radio station is seeking to increase its student levy amount by $8 — from $4.85 to $12.85. Voting will be available on September 30 and October 3 at the Bladen Wing Atrium from 10:00 pm to 5:00 pm for UTSC students. If passed, the proposed changes will come into effect during the 2017 summer term.
Fusion Radio is a 24/7 online radio network for UTSC students. The station hosts various student-led shows in addition to organizing events around UTSC throughout the year.
If the proposed student levy is passed, the new money would go towards a significant expansion project planned for the station.
According to an online statement made by Fusion Radio, the expansion project would “bring over-the-air broadcasting back to UTSC, as well as increase the quality and accessibility of a range of services that we provide for the university, campus groups, and students.”
Both UTSG and UTM currently have terrestrial radio stations. At UTSG, CIUT has its studio in the Hart House map room and broadcasts on 89.5 FM. CFRE operates at UTM and broadcasts on 91.9 FM.
Other possible changes include “increas[ing] the reputation of UTSC by offering industry quality radio, media production, and networking services to its students” as well as an opportunity to “provide necessary capital to invest in opportunities that will benefit and engage the campus and community such as celebrity talent for events/concerts.”
Chief Returning Officer of the Referendum Ayman Ali also commented on the changes that would result if the fee-increase passed, saying in an email to The Varsity that it “is needed to allow for over-the-air broadcasting expansion and to achieve the goal of having a legitimate campus radio station at the University of Toronto Scarborough, which both the Mississauga and St. George campuses already have.”
The Varsity spoke to the President of Fusion Radio, Ramisa Tasfia, who stressed the importance of the network on campus, saying: “Fusion Radio is Scarborough’s Source for Sound. For many years, student clubs and associations have turned to Fusion Radio to set-up and coordinate sound for events across and outside of campus. This includes but is not limited to providing speakers, working with DJs, renting equipment, setting up lights, and promotions.”
Tasfia also added that the referendum is crucial to the success of Fusion Radio, especially for “future generations.”
There is no definitive quorum for this vote because neither the SCCR by-laws nor the University of Toronto’s Student Society regulations have specific requirements for voter turnout.
Scarborough Campus Students’ Union President Jessica Kirk declined to endorse a vote in favour or against the referendum questions: “SCSU supports the opportunity students will have to exercise their democratic rights to vote. It is important for students to know that their vote will directly impact the fees all students at UTSC will ultimately have to pay, should there be a majority ‘Yes’ vote.”
“It’s up to students at UTSC to decide whether or not Fusion Radio’s services warrant a 200% fee increase,” Kirk added.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article spelled the names Ramisa Tasfia and Ayman Ali incorrectly. The Varsity regrets the error.