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KAMP nets student government support

By Erin Mahoney
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 11, 1999
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The ASUA Senate last night unanimously passed a resolution to back KAMP Student Radio's attempt to garner a spot on the FM dial.

The resolution, sponsored by Associated Students Sen. Ferdie Echiverri, supports a Federal Communications Commission proposal that would allow smaller, low-powered radio stations to have a place on the FM dial.

"I don't want this to end with a resolution," Echiverri said. "This is what the students want, and this is what we can do."

The resolution calls on the FCC to support KAMP's venture off its current position at 1570-AM.

"The ASUA Senate understands the KAMP Student Radio has provided a high quality of service to the University of Arizona campus despite FCC regulations keeping the radio station from gaining a detectable FM frequency," the resolution states.

KAMP officials have been working to gather support since January when the FCC announced its proposal. Students have gathered about 1,200 signatures to date, said KAMP General Manager Justin Clifton.

"The support is there...it seems to be growing by the day," he said.

Echiverri asked each senator to gather at least 50 signatures in support of the petition drive. The senator said he has already found about 500 to support KAMP, but hopes to reach about 1,000 before the drive is complete.

"We can actually make a difference, we just have to choose things we can get done," Echiverri said. "This is one of the things I've done (as a senator) that I'm most proud of."

KAMP has until April 12 to send comments and signatures to the FCC regarding the proposal, Clifton said. He added that the five-member federal committee will then review KAMP's submissions - along with those from other low-powered stations - and make a decision by May 12.

If the proposal is approved, two years could go by before KAMP begins broadcasting from its new spot on the FM frequency.

"It's a very problematic system at this point, but we're working as well as we can around it," Clifton said.

There is "one dissenting member" on the committee who is concerned with low-powered stations interfering with existing stations, Clifton said.

"We don't want to pursue any frequency that would interfere with another station," Clifton told senators. "We'll search for available bands."

KAMP had hoped to gather 2,500 signatures by yesterday, Clifton said, but fell short. He said he expects to reach that number after spring break.

Clifton said he was grateful to senators for their support.

"There's no way to reach every student," he said. "(Gaining ASUA support) informs the leaders of various groups about what's going on."

KAMP has been working with Arizona State University's student radio station and has also sought guidance from the Low Power Radio Coalition, Clifton said.