The trials and tribulations of CFBU, a timeline since its inception

September 1995: After two years, the Brock Radio Collective (BRC) headed by then-student Ed Decker is still attempting to bring back a student operated radio station to Brock. Obstacles at this point include applying for an FM license, as well as raising over $50,000 for equipment and engineering costs.November 1995: A student referendum is set in motion by the Brock University Student Administrative Council to determine whether students are willing to pay an additional $1.50 per course for the BRC to operate its proposed radio station.

December 1995: Students vote in favour of the radio referendum. The collective begins to clean and repair the Symphony House, where the station will be situated. The station applies for a license from the Canadian Radio/Television and Telecommunications Commission at a cost of $5,000. The new fees from students are to be implemented during the evening classes of Spring 1996.

February/March 1996: Tension between Decker and BUSAC arises when his business proposal for the radio station is seen by the council to be ‘ambiguous.’ A proposed salary of $420 a week for Decker and $120 a week for fellow collective member Roger McNeill are considered excessive by BUSAC considering that Decker and McNeill were not elected, hired or appointed to their positions. Controversy surrounding Decker’s proposal postpones application to the CRTC.

March 1996: The Brock Radio Collective gets BUSAC approval for their proposed five-year budget. Decker is approved as the interim station manager and program director for one year, with a revised wage. Application for a license to the CRTC are underway.

September/October 1996: Decker is terminated from his paid position as station manager when empty liquor bottles are found in Symphony House, which breaks the Brock University alcohol policy. Decker sues members of the union with a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. However, Decker remains an integral part of the evolution of CFBU. Even further complications arise when asbestos is also found in Symphony House.

November 1996: Though the controversial dismissal of Decker sent relations between the collective and BUSAC into disarray, plans for Brock’s radio station seem to be back on track after a new steering committee that will be the controlling force behind the radio is created. The changes made included the elimination of paid positions. February 1997 is noted for a possible start date for going FM.

February 1997: The CRTC grants approval for Brock Radio on the frequency of 103.7 mhz pending incorporation and completion of construction on the Symphony House. After 12 years, Brock once again has a radio station of its own. Closed circuit broadcasts of CFBU programming begin in Isaac’s from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

March 1997: CFBU’s application for incorporation, which would allow them to broadcast on an FM frequency is rejected. The station re-applied.

August 1997: CFBU get incorporated, goes FM, and at long last begins transmitting on August 6, 1997. Safety concerns stall the installation of a permanent antenna on Schmon Tower. Broadcast range is limited to Brock campus and downtown St. Catharines.

January 1999: After a precarious beginning and a year and a half of struggling financially, CFBU begins to meet its budget. Then-current operations director Dan Malleck successfully kept cost below projected level, allowing the station to remain on the air.

February 1999: Two turntables and a mixer are stolen from CFBU after a break-in. Described as “a very specific crime,” this caused a disruption in regular programming. Heavier security precautions at the station are implemented for both Symphony House and the replaced equipment.

September 1999: The donation of a new Pentium computer to CFBU by the Brock bookstore allows the station to go on-line, adding Real Audio to their programming format. People around the world, or just at work, now have access to CFBU.

February 2001: Re-application to the CRTC is successful, allowing CFBU to stay on the air until 2007.

June 2001: CFBU is off the air for over a week due to technical difficulties. A melted coil is blamed for “a really wacky signal being put over the air.”

Presently: CFBU, though still somewhat of an underdog in the radio wars, remains a unique voice for students at Brock.

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