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KAMP fee will go to vote

SUSIE LEMONT/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
English and American literature freshman Anthony Sanchez DJs his show "Music to clean your room to" last Thursday at the KAMP studio. This spring, students will vote on continuing KAMP's $1 fee.
By Stephanie Schwarz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday January 28, 2003

The $1 fee students pay to keep KAMP radio on the air will go up for vote later this semester.

The referendum was passed by ASUA last semester, but now students will have the opportunity to vote on the fee on March 4 and 5. Following a UA decision, the Arizona Board of Regents will have the final say on the fee, said ASUA Executive Vice President Jennifer Reece.

"If it's not passed, we're done," said Brian VanBuren, general manager of KAMP student radio. "I don't know that we'll be able to continue to grow or even operate without it."

The fee, which began in 1997, is refundable to students, although KAMP marketing director Ashley Furey said she knew of few students who went to the Bursar's office seeking a refund last year.

"All (that we do) has been far greater than KAMP can generate without the dollar fee," said KAMP radio student adviser Mike Camarillo.

KAMP radio has used the fee, an amount totaling over $315,000 in the last five years, to expand all areas of the radio station, improve studios and increase a mobile DJ service.

A portion of the money was also used on a new AM antenna and broadcasting the station on television in the residence halls.

"(The money) has allowed us to move in a positive direction," Camarillo said. "We've been able to spend money on telecommunications, promoting and cable casting."

The original fee allowed KAMP to hire more people and run a much more professional radio station, VanBuren said.

Now if the fee is continued, it will help secure KAMP's new AM station 1570, which started broadcasting last Tuesday.

The station allows UA students and faculty to listen to KAMP's broadcast over the radio for the first time. In the past, KAMP radio was only available on channel 20 in residence halls or over the Internet, Camarillo said.

"Having the AM station means a lot psychologically to those listening and those who work for the station," VanBuren said.

Technicians are currently working with the frequency of the AM station, which is broadcasting from the top of the Gould-Simpson building and may change dial numbers to improve service. Right now, students and faculty on the south side of campus, near Sixth Street, have a better chance of hearing the station clearly, Furey said.

In the next couple of years, KAMP also plans to secure a low-powered FM station, Camarillo said.

But to be considered by the Federal Communications Commission for an FM station, KAMP must have at least $50,000 to pay for the dial number, Furey said.

KAMP has already set aside a portion of the money received from the student activity fee in the hopes of eventually obtaining the FM station, Camarillo said.

"In the past five years we have had the fee, we've been able to expand all of the departments," Furey said. "Every part of KAMP has been able to do more for the students and the listeners."

The UA is one of only three Pacific-10 Conference schools with a radio station that is broadcast over the Internet. Without the fee, KAMP would probably have to eliminate that part of its program.

"Theoretically, you'd think people would be in favor of it. It's just a dollar," VanBuren said. "We provide a unique service, and it won't be supplied anywhere else,"

Unlike other radio stations in Tucson, KAMP provides news and events exclusively relevant to the UA, VanBuren said. Before KAMP student radio joined Arizona Student Media, also home of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, in 1997, the station raised only $700 all year. Since that time, the station has earned about $15,000 a year in revenue.

The station's revenue pays for daily operation expenses and student worker salaries. KAMP also has more than 100 volunteers every year.

Next fall, KAMP will move into a state-of-the-art studio in the new Park Student Union, and it will need new equipment for the building.


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