UMFM AGM lays out plan for upcoming year

Pledge-O-Rama 2019 to fund new antenna

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UMFM elected two new board of directors members and announced their goal for their upcoming annual Pledge-O-Rama event at their annual general meeting (AGM).

The AGM took place on Sept. 19 in the UMGSA lounge. Departing UMFM board members Craig Adolphe, Nicholas Friesen and Caileigh Morrison were replaced by Taylor Galvin and Ashley Bieniarz, who were elected by unanimous vote.

“I feel extremely excited to see what kind of opportunities it’s going to bring over the course of the next year,” Galvin said.

“I’m just excited to be a part of UMFM in more of a way than I already am because they’re a super great radio station.”

Amy Unger, a third candidate, dropped out the day before the AGM due to schedule constraints, leaving a third seat on the board still vacant.

UMFM’s upcoming annual Pledge-O-Rama, a week of programming dedicated to raising listener donations to the station, is set to run from Oct. 18 to Oct. 25. This year’s goal is $36,000, 15 per cent of UMFM’s operating budget. Last year’s Pledge-O-Rama raised over $40,000, which went toward new computers and the new website.

UMFM station manager Jared McKetiak laid the plan for this year’s funding, which is earmarked for a new radio antenna atop the Richardson building on Portage and Main.

McKetiak explained the antenna’s necessity, with the current decades-old antenna both showing wear and not being compliant with current safety regulations. The funding will go toward engineering inspections, structural analysis, safety testing and the purchase and installation of the antenna.

The rest of the meeting consisted of staff and committee reports for the upcoming year. Some planned changes and improvements to the station include more structured onboarding for volunteers, increased video presence, library digitization and an increase in outreach around campus.

According to McKetiak, 2019’s Pledge-O-Rama funding project is vital to the future of UMFM.

“If we don’t hit our goal this year, we can’t do that work,” he said. “And if we can’t do that work and replace the antenna, then in two years UMFM is going to cease to exist.

“The issue is that, once you get through all the red tape, the inspections, the actual work itself, the installation, it’s probably going to take 18 months anyways, so we’re trying to be as proactive as possible.”

“Students should care because UMFM is their radio station.”

Correction: This article originally stated the Richardson building is on the U of M Fort Garry campus.