Student Radio program under threat after introduction of Student Unionism Bill | radioinfo

Student Radio program under threat after introduction of Student Unionism Bill

Friday 16 December, 2005
Petition Circulating in support of the Student Radio show

The new Higher Education Bill which abolishes compulsory up-front student union fees has already had an effect on one community radio station as Radio Adelaide’s student program, funded from the compulsory levy, is now under the threat of being cut.

Last Friday Australia’s Universities lost their campaign against voluntary student unionism, as the Howard Government's bill to abolish compulsory contributions to student unions finally passed through the Senate. With the demise of those compulsory contributions, student unions are having to cut back on the services they offer, including their support of sporting and cultural groups.

The Radio Adelaide program in question Student Radio was funded by contributions from the student union fees of three universities. University of Adelaide Student Union has already pulled out its funding for this radio group, and the other two university unions are considering whether they will do the same.

Despite overstated newspaper reports that intimated Radio Adelaide itself was closing, the only program under threat is the Student Radio access program.

Radio Adelaide Manager Deb Welsch has told radioinfo:

“The VSU/Student Radio issue has really blown up in the last week. Unfortunately some sloppy local newspaper coverage made people think Radio Adelaide was closing (just when we won Radio Station of the Year!), so we need to be clear that Student Radio is an access program
group on Radio Adelaide.”

The Student Radio program has been running since 1975 as an independent student run program group, funded by the Students Union at the University of Adelaide. The decision not to include Student Radio in the Adelaide University Unions' budget for 2006 was made last week,
anticipating the introduction of VSU.

Student Radio groups from UniSA and Flinders University became part of 'Student Radio' in the 1980's and 1990's respectively. UniSA's Students Association has decided to continue Student Radio for at least the first 6 months of 2006, whilst the impact of VSU is properly assessed. Flinders' Student Association will be deciding shortly.

The 3 Student Radio groups produce a total of 26 weekly hours programming on Radio Adelaide. The Union groups are currently investigating plans to generate income to cover the costs required.

A petition is circulating on the Flinders University campus in support of Student Radio.

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