In the CSA spring term elections, which ran from last Thursday to Sunday, students passed Student Projects Committee (SPC) referenda to renovate and rebuild the KRLX studio and to purchase new billiard tables for Sayles.
The KRLX referendum passed with 76.7 percent of the vote, while the billiard table referendum passed with 50.2 percent of the vote. Less than half the student body participated in the election.
As a result of the spring referendum, CSA allocated $20,000 to student radio station KRLX for equipment, furniture and the installation of gear. The gear was previously purchased with $8,000 from a winter term SPC referendum.
“We’re coming back for more funding to make sure that we can properly implement the second phase of the project. Also at this stage, we know more about what we want to do with the renovations than we did in the winter,” said KRLX IT Engineer Tate Bosler ’19.
“We originally went to SPC with our full funding request, but after the talk with them, it was collectively decided that it would be better to break it into smaller chunks.”
Among the gear that KRLX is purchasing with the $20,000 is an Emergency Alert System transponder, a digital audio router and miscellaneous cables and tools.
The Emergency Alert System transponder must be updated to ensure that KRLX continues to follow Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, according to Bosler.
“The regulations can change at any time, and we want to be able to continue broadcasting if the FCC makes changes,” he said.
The digital audio router will allow KRLX to strengthen its connections to the Cave and to create a direct link to the new Weitz addition.
In addition to gear, KRLX hopes to renovate and improve its studio by purchasing furniture and lights for the studio and record library.
“We see the record library as a social space, so we want to have seating capacity and good lighting in there so we can be more inviting to students,” Bosler said.
KRLX proposed $10,000 as the installation cost of the equipment that it purchased in the winter and that it will purchase this spring.
The FCC suggests that stations allocate $10,000 for labor costs because radio installation is highly specialized.
In addition, KRLX wants a buffer in case renovation and installation do not go as planned, according to Bosler.
“This money will enable us to get the new space wired up and ready for all of that new gear, so we can give all of the gear a good permanent home,” he said.
If the equipment installation costs less than $10,000, KRLX hopes to purchase back up equipment, to set up a production studio where students could create podcasts, to expand KRLX into adjacent spaces in the basement of Sayles or to purchase more furniture.
“If something fails, then we’re able to replace it quickly and be off air for as little time as possible,” Bosler said.
Expanding into adjacent spaces of Sayles could be part of the college’s larger plans for Sayles renovations. KRLX’s studio sits in between storage closets, which Bosler believes could be incorporated into KRLX.
“With the renovations, we want to accommodate growth. This term alone we have 247 active members, and a lot of shows are groups of three or more people.
With groups, the studio can be cramped, so we’re seeing this as a great opportunity to reshape our studio to better suit the growing interest in different aspects of KRLX.”
This year, the college created a Sayles Renovation Committee to look at how to use the space in Sayles more efficiently. The Committee has yet to decide the scope of its projects or to allocate funds to it, according to Director of Facilities Steve Spehn.
The Career Center will move to Johnson House in August. The Sayles Renovation Committee is considering how to use the Career Center’s current home and whether to move around offices currently in Sayles.
“We aren’t talking about any big renovations,” Spehn said. “We would probably only move a couple of walls around.”
Any work in Sayles could not happen until after the Career Center moves in August. As a result, it might make more sense for renovations and relocations to happen next winter break, according to Spehn.
Because the Sayles Renovation Committee is in its preliminary phases, it is unclear whether the college would pay for or oversee any renovations to KRLX. As of now, KRLX has asked CSA for all the funds it needs for equipment, renovation and installation, according to Bosler.
If the college were to pay for some of the renovations, KRLX would use the CSA funds for other improvements to the station.
In addition to the KRLX referendum, the CSA put forward a $20,825 proposal for two new billiard tables for Upper Sayles. The cost would include delivery, installation and new equipment to go with the tables, according to CSA Treasurer Jen Chan ’19. The proposal does not include funds for future repairs to the tables.
SPC purchased the current tables secondhand 10 years ago. The current tables have repair costs of around $2,000 each year.
“We see these new tables as a long-term investment because SAO will no longer have to pay such high repair costs and because students will have better equipment to play with,” she said.
To create the proposal, CSA talked to billiard experts and eventually found a table that would last 30 to 40 years and would likely have lower repair costs than the current tables, according to Chan.
The billiard table referendum passed by four votes. “Because it passed by so little, I think there is inherently a problem with the proposal,” Chan said.
“I think we may not have adequately explained the long-term cost savings, the quality benefit of the new tables and the ways in which SPC funds can be used.”
Current SPC bylaws do not allow students to repeal referenda. However, SPC can stop formally working on any project at any time, even after it has been passed by the student body. “I am working with SPC this week to determine how we should go forward with the proposal because of the close election results,” Chan said.
Now that the proposal has passed, the two new tables will be installed this summer. Currently, SPC is figuring out where to put the tables that are currently in Sayles.
The $20,000 for KRLX and the $20,285 for billiard tables comes from SPC, a subset of CSA that allocates money for one-time projects, using money from past CSA budget surpluses. All SPC requests over $4,000 must be voted on by the student body, according to CSA bylaws.
With the allocation of funds to KRLX and the new billiard tables, SPC will have around $80,000 left for future student initiatives, according to Roy Cady-Kimble ’18, an SPC member.
“These referenda are long-term investments. The KRLX station will not continue to operate as it stands without this funding, and the current Sayles billiard tables cost $2,000 to refelt and balance each year,” Cady-Kimble said. “These referenda will save the college and the student body considerable money and effort in the long run.”