Strategic partnership keeps Student Radio on air
An imaginative new partnership between Radio Adelaide and the student organisations of the three universities will ensure student radio broadcasters remain on the airwaves this year.
In the wake of the Voluntary Student Union (VSU) legislation last December, there was concern that funding restrictions would spell the end of 32 years of Student Radio on Radio Adelaide.
But the Adelaide University Union (AUU) and student associations from Flinders University and UniSA have brokered a deal with Radio Adelaide to safeguard Student Radio.
The student organisations are collectively given 15 hours of air time each week on the award-winning 101.5fm station, which is renowned for its strong focus on current affairs, arts and culture.
Adelaide University Union has nine of these hours on Monday, Tuesday and Friday nights.
Under the new arrangement, the three student organisations will continue to pay an access fee, but will assign the right to "sponsorship time" in these slots back to Radio Adelaide. Depending on their success in generating sponsorship, Radio Adelaide will be able to repay some, or all, of the access fee.
Radio Adelaide station manager Deborah Welch said the agreement was "a very clever strategy" devised by the station and the student leaders, but "will be dependent on our ability to attract sponsors".
"It is really important that we continue such a long-standing and unique association. Student Radio has been on the airwaves since 1974 and it has given thousands of students an opportunity to broadcast their talents - whether in comedy, drama or journalism," Ms Welch said.
"It is a place for experimentation and trying new things. If we lose this cultural forum, it will deny many people a place to start their careers."
Already on board are foundation sponsors Education Adelaide. `We were attracted to Student Radio as we are keen to support activities that add value to the experience of being a student, said Marketing Manager Sonja Visic. "It is also highly targeted towards the people we want to reach, who are students-particularly international students'.
The president of the Adelaide University Union, Josh Rayner, said the strategy was a great example of students using their initiative to get around the funding squeeze created by the VSU.
"Student Radio is alive and well due to the very solid relationship now shared between the AUU and the University of Adelaide," he said.
Story by Candy Gibson