From cancellation to exhaustion and reduction of activity

Oddaja
27. 1. 2021 - 11.00

Klemen Petek, president of the Student organisation of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU) sent the new 2021 budget proposal to members of the Student assembly. This document proposes that Radio Študent receives 64.000 € for its regular activity which is around half of the minimum sum (120.000 €) required for the radio to maintain its current programme which entails production of projects focusing on issues to do with civil society, culture and education. Radio Študent acts in student and public interest and on average broadcasts 17 hours of daily live programme which is being produced by over 200 part-time creators. The Student assembly session will take place on Thursday, 28 January 2021 at 7 pm CET. It is said that this time it will not be streamed online.

Should Radio Študent’s financing be cut in half, its activity would face the same fate. Despite ŠOU’s 2020 funding accounting for only 22% of Radio Študent’s total budget, these 120.000 € are absolutely essential as they provide a basis on which the radio is able to absorb project funds which stand at 300.000€ and make for 60% of all total Radio Študent’s income. The lowering of ŠOU’s input would therefore make Radio Študent less able to absorb project funds (which usually offer 60-80% co-funding, meaning that our own funds are a prerequisite for applying for any such national or international projects, let alone to successfully absorb funds from these projects)

In short, such a drastic cut in co-financing by ŠOU would halve Radio Študent’s production which would in turn hurt Radio Študent’s educational projects that have trained speakers, journalists, technical and other media staff for decades. Furthermore the absorption of a large portion of the funds received by the Ministry of Culture via the largest media tender in the country would be put in jeopardy. Moreover many national and international projects would have to be scaled down, including the yearly concert tour for up and coming bands Klubski maraton, the international festival for record labels Tresk, exchange programmes for European radio stations focusing on non-commercial music under the umbrella of Creative Europe, the European cohesion policies platform etc.

Instead of the initially proposed erasure and selling-off of Radio Študent, the proposal of 64.000€ in the budget’s first reading suggests that ŠOU has reverted back to its old tricks that it has been using ever since the current ŠOU director Andrej Klasinc came to power: financially exhausting Radio Študent by continual lowering of ŠOU’s input as the formal founder of Radio Študent which should protect student interests. In comparison, the costs of administration and salaries of those employed at ŠOU are set at 257.000€.

Therefore we are calling on ŠOU’s presidency and the Student assembly to rethink to whom and to what extent they are giving away public student funds. We believe that after the failed initial budget proposal and the pressure applied by students and the general public, which overwhelmingly supported Radio Študent, at least some members of the ŠOU assembly have realised the important role Radio Študent has to play in society. We also hope that ŠOU leadership will recognise Radio Študent’s important role in advancing student public interest in the field of culture and education. They can only show this by guaranteeing minimum funds needed for Radio Študent’s survival. It’s important to note that ŠOU’s current ruling majority was born out of 3,8% participation at the last election so they have yet to prove their legitimacy. Accordingly we are calling on ŠOU’s leadership to once again open the session to the student and general public because we are certain that this is a first step to greater democratisation and to restoration of public’s trust in student organising under ŠOU.

 

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