Radio Referendum: In Conversation with Kyle Tang

RadioWesternLogo// Alex Prong

When it comes to the Radio Western, “not a lot of students know what’s going on,” according to faculty of music student council president Kyle Tang. Despite this lack of general knowledge, students are being asked to vote in the upcoming election on whether or not funding should be cut for the radio station.

After voting for USC and faculty president in the USC election, there will be four options on the radio referendum:

  1. Remain at the status quo: students pay $12.47
  2. Reduction: students pay $10.50
  3. Reduction: students pay $7.47
  4. Reduction: students pay $5.00

Kyle, as well as the RW twitter account @chrwradio, have expressed that they are hoping students will vote for option 2.

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“They want to save students money,” says Kyle. “They are pursuing ways to make the station work at a lower cost, but with options 3 and 4, either staff get cut or directorial or training services.”

For students of all faculties, but especially with FIMS, the radio station has provided an open platform for students to express themselves. It’s a lot less pressure than creating and hosting a show or podcast all on your own, and with the cut of the MTP program, there aren’t a lot of options left for students to get hands-on production experience on campus. Students working with Radio Western not only gain skills in radio, but also in studio broadcast, marketing, storytelling, and videography.

There are also many cultural perspective shows on Radio Western that offer a platform for marginalized identities. Shows like Rainbow Radio (LGBTQ+ content), Smoke Signals (First Nations content), and Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Assyrian, Eritrean, Chinese, and Muslim programing to name a few, while not necessarily garnering the same size audiences as the Gazette’s coverage of Justin Trudeau, perform an important alternative media service nonetheless: community building.

Kyle is “hoping that people can start the conversation and realize that Radio Western has a deeply entrenched history with the Western community, as well as the rest of London — even the mayor listens.”

So before casting your vote, do your research, discuss, debate, and consider what kind of campus you want to be a part of. Even if you don’t directly listen to Radio Western, this decision impacts all of us.


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