It’s no secret that UFV has a campus radio station, but it’s not as easily heard on campus as you’d expect.
At this time, the only building on campus that plays music throughout the building at all times is the Student Union Society’s (SUS) new Student Union Building (SUB). But the SUB plays satellite radio content which consists mainly of mainstream top-40 content, not CIVL Radio.
Aaron Levy, CIVL Radio’s station manager, explained that he would like to see the station have a stronger presence at UFV.
“I want CIVL everywhere on campus,” Levy said. “It’s good for our volunteers, it’s good for our promotion … The content is there and it’s valuable, and I think it would be valuable for people to have access to it on campus.”
Levy’s ultimate goal is for students to be able to listen to CIVL Radio in many spots on campus, and not just in the station.
“Our finances right now are focused on the equipment in the station itself,” Levy explained. “When our capital budgets have been utilized to their full potential on their broadcast space, we do plan to look into how much money it would cost to put various types of listening stations around on campus where students would be able to adjust the volume on their own.”
These listening stations will give students the opportunity to listen to CIVL on campus, but in a non-intrusive way where volume can be controlled. Levy is working with campus facilities to implement them.
“Facilities gave us a ‘You’re going to have to pay for it, but we’ll make it happen’ kind of thing, which is what I expected,” Levy noted. “That’s fine with me — I don’t expect UFV to pay for us to be broadcasted.”
“They obviously have an intercom system,” Levy said. “They were broadcasting satellite radio, which I’m sure they’re paying for.”
One of the reasons that CIVL’s content is not broadcasted in the building is because, being a campus and community radio station, the content contains a variety of music genres and talk radio, and may not always create the ideal atmosphere for the laid-back study space that SUS is aiming for.
SUS president Thomas Davies explained in an email that SUS doesn’t feel that CIVL’s content fits in with the mood of the SUB.
“The purpose of the atrium audio system is to provide soft background music,” he said. “This allows students to study, socialize, or hang out in the space with a background filler not unlike other public spaces like a mall or a shopping centre. CIVL’s drastic differences in programming — from heavy rock to a political talk show — is great for a community radio station, but does not work as this consistent soft background atmosphere for the atrium space.”
But Levy doesn’t see this as an issue for CIVL, or a reason to not play the station.
“The content is the content; people are going to turn it off on the radio if they don’t like it,” said Levy, acknowledging that CIVL’s style of music is usually different from the type of music SUS wants in the SUB atrium. “But to me that’s the excitement of campus radio,” he said.
One solution would be for CIVL to create an alternative stream that suits the SUB’s environment and the general student demographic.
“The only reason that I haven’t pushed any further than I have is because I don’t think we are ready to put together alternate content,” said Levy, “which is why I favour the adjustable volume so that the content is always the same, and it can be turned down whenever.
“I don’t think we’re ready to be constantly putting together this week’s feed; we’re already doing an FM broadcast feed. If someone doesn’t like the style of music, they can turn it off.”
Levy expressed that he would welcome support from SUS to play CIVL Radio in the building.
“I’m happy if SUS is happy to have CIVL heard in the Student Union Building,” he said. “If somebody made a decision that, since CIVL is more easily heard in the building, to stop playing other music, then I appreciate that, I thank them, and it means a lot to me.”