A University of Utah student fears that an important student voice may be silenced unless the university offers its support.
Todd Gabler, general manager of the student-run radio station, K-UTE, believes that unless a university agency is established to provide stability and continuity for K-UTE, the operation will suffer the fate of its predecessors: It will be lost in the shuffle between outgoing seniors and incoming freshmen."There is a lack of continuity (at K-UTE) that is inherent in all student organizations. It is inherent in a student's tenure that it is of a temporary nature," said Gabler.
Gabler will appear at the U. Institutional Council, its governing body, June 19 to ask that the council establish a Radio Council to oversee K-UTE's operation.
He also wants the Institutional Council to approve a change in the Associated Students of the U. budget that would funnel a 30-cent-per-student fee to K-UTE's operation.
Student radio at the U. dates back to 1924. The University's popular, professionally run FM station, KUER, came on line in 1960, followed by the student-run K-UTE in 1967. K-UTE died in the early 1970s but was revived in the '80s.
Gabler believes K-UTE, which broadcasts only to the Olpin Union and student dorms, provides a valuable service by playing music that appeals to 18- to 24-year-olds and by giving students hands-on broadcasting experience.
"KUER has an internship where students can rip and read (news stories from wire services), but there are no opportunities in management, promotion, programming, marketing, all the aspects of an education you need to be prepared for the working world," Gabler said.
The student said that, in talking to other members of the national Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, he's found that student radio stations are viewed as important for student involvement and community relations.
"It's a great way to let the community know what students are doing. It's something that the flagship university of this state should have," Gabler said.
Weber State College, Southern Utah State College and Dixie College also have student radio stations.
Gabler believes some U. administrators are opposed to K-UTE.
Arnold E. Rothermich, U. director of administration policies, said he doesn't know of any opposition to the Radio Council.
The concept was approved by both the Committee on Student Affairs and the U. Academic Senate.
However, Senate members want the proposed structure changed so that it more closely resembles Publications Council, which oversees the operation of the student newspaper, The Daily Utah Chronicle, and reports to Institutional Council.
Virginia P. Peterson, coordinator of student involvement, said the question of a Radio Council produced a pro-and-con debate in the committee, but there was no formal opposition. She said some suggested establishing a Media Council, which would oversee student radio and television, and that suggestion will also be presented to Institutional Council.