Editorial: Turn up support for KAMP several notches
Sign on to the KAMP petition.
Despite its 11 years on campus and the thousands of students who have been involved, KAMP Student Radio remains a largely unsung voice of the students.
The station, which has grown to a 200-student staff, has been faced with one difficulty after another in attempting to provide the university community with student-produced music, sports and public affairs programming. In short, the 11 years of KAMP have been a story of potential cut short by the logistics of creating a radio station. From the loss of its cable access outlet to the myriad problems the station faced in attempt at AM broadcast in the past four years, the station's large and dedicated staff is testament to the student interest in broadcasting, an interest that has largely gone unacknowledged. In December, for example, the station's attempt at a FM frequency was shot down.
In the last several years with the addition of the KAMP student fee and the station move into the Student Media department, which also oversees the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the potential for station growth seems better than ever. In addition, the station has gotten back on the air through residence hall cable and the Internet via its website.
The Federal Communications Commission recently decided to open public discussion on the idea of offering small stations 100 to 1,000 watt stations. KAMP, with that kind of frequency, would be able to broadcast in a radius of between one and nine miles, an area that would allow the station to reach the campus community in a new and more direct manner.
KAMP, as it did in campaigning for its $1 per semester fee among student voters, is again taking its message of student opportunity and community broadcasting to the street. General manager Justin Clifton told the Wildcat the group plans to gather 2,500 signatures supporting the FCC low-wattage plan before the federal public discussion period ends March 12.
A low-watt station for the UA community would do more than offer opportunity to students, it would put the university on par with peer institutions like Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. There are, for example, high schools that offer students the opportunity to broadcast on low-watt FM frequencies.
In the past, through the fee and in words, the UA community in general has demonstrated its support for the station. The current petition drive is another way for the community to voice its support for student radio, not only here but the nation over. So sign on to the KAMP petition.