I’ve listened to CFBU 103.7 casually since I discovered it in September at the start of my second year. Since then I’ve used the radio station almost as an escape — a contrast to the Top 40 songs that emanate in malls and elevators around the country. However, in preparation for writing this article, I turned my car radio dial to CFBU and left it there for the past two weeks. Every errand, my daily commute to Brock, Sunday drives were all to the soundtrack of Brock’s own student radio.
When Brock Radio was de-funded, I was shocked, needless to say. That the student body decided to turn their backs on the student radio that was passionately tailored for them every day by Brock students and community members. That those 250 watts from the Schmon Tower summit have an audience that doesn’t care enough for its existence to pay a small ancillary fee is shocking.
Then you realize that it wasn’t really the student body that decided as only 2817 votes were cast back in November. As Brock University Student Radio (BUSR) commented in a tweet immediately following the referendum: “Approx. 10 per cent of the total Brock Students made that decision for the remaining 90%”.
But alas, this is old news. CFBU is now de-funded and there’s not much we can do to change it. The organization is in a time of transition. All I want to tell you about is why this matters, and why they are an organization that is important to the Brock community.
CFBU is Niagara’s only alternative radio station. It truly provides a change of pace from the white noise of billboard hits and formulaic pop anthems. Regardless of how long you’ll listen, you’ll probably never hear the likes of Taylor Swift or the Bingo Players on the channel.
Instead, CFBU focuses on the thrill of discovery. It’s that new artist that you’ve never heard before, and would not hear of again — that song by a band somewhere in Yellowknife that you’re the first to fall in love with. These are the situations that has made me use Shazam on my phone in the last two weeks more than the last four years combined.
Too often people use the excuse that the radio station isn’t for them. This is really a non-excuse. If you don’t like what the station is doing, they’re literally putting the power of the studio in your hands to change it by making your own show. So far they’ve got many individuals taking charge in order to actively and adequately represent their community on air, from shows like Lake to Lake which plays all-Canadian music, to shows like Deconstructing Dinner and the Garden Show that require you to think and question.
Every time I got in my car, I was excited to hear the station just to see what was on. Yes, one time I turned it on to find a grungy song featuring no lyrics, and just screeching French horns, but the next time you’ll turn it on and find out something absolutely incredible about Canada’s organic egg industry.
In conclusion, CFBU is anything but static. It is an active force in diversely representing the Brock University and Niagara community. If 103.7 turns into white noise, then it will truly be an insufferable loss for the student culture here at Brock. To find out more information about getting involved with CFBU, including how you can host your own radio show, or the on-air radio schedule, visit cfbu.ca