The 43rd ASWSU Senate unanimously granted a $6,000 funding request Wednesday night in a motion to get student-run radio station KZUU 90.7 FM back on the air.
A recent planned campus-wide power outage in order to test Martin Stadium’s electric facilities destroyed KZUU’s data switch board, which prevented the ability to air content. KZUU General Manager Jasmine Albertson explained to senators the station’s need for new equipment in order to resume broadcasting.
“Every five to ten years, equipment is going to wear down or break and need replacing,” Albertson said. “As Murphy’s law would predict, it tends to happen all at once. This is, unfortunately, that year.”
KZUU has used their production computer for about six years. The computer’s functionality has experienced problems during the past two years. Albertson said it’s time for an upgrade.
“This computer is very important because it’s where we produce and program automation, which is what we have playing whenever there isn’t a DJ on air,” Albertson said.
While $1,000 of the approved funding request will go toward purchasing a computer, $5,000 is intended for a new transmitter and remote control.
Albertson said the transmitter KZUU wants to purchase comes with an exciter, an audio processor.
“There’s a remote system that NWPR would be able to use to see if something happens to KZUU, which is very helpful since we have to use their engineers when something goes wrong,” she said.
The senate’s supplemental programming budget amounts to $13,500 right now with an outstanding balance of $250, according to Sen. Amita Jain. Half of the $6,000 will come from the ASWSU Executive Branch, she said.
Jain said she believes providing KZUU with $6,000 is an appropriate distribution of the senate’s budget and agrees with Albertson that technology can fail at any time.
“When it happens, you don’t know when it’s going to happen,” she said.
Dan Maher, ASWSU Senate supervisor and KZUU supervisor, remains realistic and said it is not abnormal for radio stations to need to buy up-to-date equipment. Certain components of the equipment cost less than they did since Maher began overseeing KZUU in 1982, he said.
“The idea that the transmitter for $5,000 including shipping and handling is going to do the same functions that the equipment in the ‘90s cost us $20,000 is pretty good,” Maher said