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CIMN contact info and backgrounder

A very long post which contains, I hope, all the info you need about 
CIMN follows.  Please reproduce and distribute as you will, in whole or 
in part.  But first, the important contact info:

To support CIMN please fax a letter supporting CIMN getting direct 
support from the University, while waxing philosophical about the 
importance of c/c radio to the President:

President Elizabeth Epperly
University of Prince Edward Island
550 University Avenue
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A 4P3

phone 902.566.0683
fax 902.628.4311

*AND*  fax a letter to the president of the Student Union asking that FM
funding be restored immediately, while waxing philosophical about the 
importance of c/c radio:

Amber Allin, President
UPEI Student Union
same address

phone 902.566.0398
fax 902.566.0979

cc: copies of these letters to, and for any more info contact Melissa:

Melissa Boute, Station Manager
UPEI Student Radio Inc/CIMN-FM
same address

phone 902.566.0417
fax 902.628.1905
email cimn\!/upei.ca

CUP has had the story from Dalhousie Gazette uploaded, try and get your 
local papers to print it.  Much Music is informed.  CBC TV and Radio on 
the island have run stories, and the Guardian has run an articile on 
page 2.  Hopefully national music mags will pick this up... (Hint hint 
Mary and Liisa!)


This past Sunday, CIMN, Charlottetown and Prince Edward Islands only 
campus/community broadcaster, found its fiscal stability threatened by a
Student Council driven by personal politics and partisan vendettas.  It 
is perhaps unsurprising in an environment so charged with emotion and so
empty of actual factual information that the Council voted to suspend 
ALL funding for the station while at the same time professing continued 
support for the eventual goal of going FM.

The case of CIMN could have a national impact if the volunteers at the 
station are unable to find some other sources of Funding.  The Canadian 
Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission, (CRTC) in what could
be considered an uncharacteristically generous decision, has allowed 
University of Prince Edward Island Student Radio, Inc, the 
not-for-profit company which operates CIMN, to begin FM broadcasting 
before having sufficient funds to employ a full time station manager.  

The meeting began at roughly 7pm Sunday evening.  The student executive,
apparently anticipating trouble from the unruly hoards of CIMN 
supporters, had asked that campus police be present in case things got 
out of hand.  The executive also immediately moved to close the meeting 
to visitors, so that the students who had shown up to see democracy in 
action would be forced to leave.  As the campus police edged closer, 
perhaps anticipating civil disobedience from the anxious volunteers,  
the council narrowly voted to keep the meeting open.  With that, the 
meeting immediately moved to the next item on the agenda, simply called 

After several years of getting organised, CIMN-FM was granted permission
to go FM last year by the CRTC.  The station has been operating as an AM
station since the 1970s.   In 1982, accord to records of the Student 
Union, council voted to incorporate a not for profit company called 
"UPEI Student Radio," and ownership of the equipment and license to 
broadcast was transferred to the new company.  This particular piece of 
information s vitally important, for it is the main reason why the 
members of the executive moved to shut down the station, but at the same
time may be the only reason the station may survive.

After dispensing with the motion to close the meeting, the Speaker of 
the student council recognised Fidel Murphy, Vice-President External, 
who put forward the motion to cut all funding to CIMN for the following 
budget year.   Murphy, and the president-elect, Chris Burns, then moved 
to the centre of the room, set up a podium, and began to present their 
case.  Like a badly parodied episode of "Law and Order,"  they  
presented fact after damning fact, in their minds proving CIMN's guilt, 
when in truth, most of what concerned these counsellors was easily 
explained by a quick examination of the CRTC regulations, the Broadcast 
Act, the Companies Act of P.E.I., or often enough, the Student Union's 
own archives. 

The core of the "case" revolves around the actual management structure 
of the station, who controls the license, and why CIMN is both 
incorporated as a company and registered as a sub-organization under the
Student Union's constitution, with a completely different set of 
by-laws.  The CIMN Radio society, legally, is a department of the 
company which is the Student Union, and for the last few years, CIMN has
operated under this organisational structure.  The Board of UPEI Student
Radio, as described in the document registered with the Attorney General
of PEI, is the four executive of the Student Union.  The CIMN Radio 
constitution states that it is the VPI, VPF, Station Manager, Volunteer,
and member at large.  To further complicate things , the Board which is 
to manage the station under section 7B of the Promise of Performance 
approved by the CRTC is structured completely differently from either of
these two.

Murphy and Burns maintained that CIMNs management had mislead the 
Student Union and the CRTC by submitting fraudulent documents.  Murphy 
stated that the Executive of the Student Union had had no idea that they
were members of the Board of UPEI Student Radio, and were concerned 
about liability.  They stated that the Union had not been informed of 
the true cost and scope of change which was associated with going FM, 
and that to top it all of, UPEI Student Radio required that all Board 
members be Canadian, and that "just isn't the way we do things in this 

Sometime in the late 80's and early 90's, something curious happened 
with many student and community organisations all across this great 
country of ours.  Records were lost or destroyed.  Rationales were 
forgotten, and long term goals set aside.  Both student unions and radio
stations did this, many also driving themselves deeply into debt at the 
same time.  At some point around the turn of the decade, for some 
reason, most people involved with UPEI SU and CIMN forgot about the 
incorporated organisation called UPEI Student Radio,  or set it aside, 
and effectively managed it as a sub organisation, or department of the 
Union.  It was not totally forgotten, however, because the Station 
Managers of CIMN continued to submit license applications under the name
UPEI Student Radio, until on June 8, 1995, the organisation was granted 
an FM license.

Immediately following Murphy and Burn's presentation Melissa Boute, the 
Station Manager, and myself presented the facts as we knew them.  The 
CRTC demands an all Canadian Board, thus the restrictions.  CRTC 
application said "the station _will_ be run in such and such a way," and
a general meeting of UPEI Student Radio was scheduled to make those 
changes on Monday, and after those changes the station would be in 
compliance with it's Promise of Performance.  The station maintained 
that last year's station manager had submitted reports to the Student 
Union executive at least once a month, and Melissa produced a letter 
from last years President of the Student Union, written to the CRTC, 
stating that the Union would pay to for the station to go FM.  I pointed
out that the Student Union's own archives showed that the Student Union 
had _created_ UPEI Student Radio, and if the Student Union Executive 
hadn't know that it was on the Board of UPEI Student Radio, then they 
had a staff or records keeping problem they need to fix, and besides, 
not-for-profit companies Board members are generally not held liable in 
the same way a private companies Board may be.  

Murphy and Burns fought back angerly.  The Red Book, the briefing and 
business plan created by CIMN to reassure UPEI Student Union of the 
legal and fiscal soundness of the FM plan, had become a weapon used to 
shut the station down.  Unfortunately, the Red Book contained references
to and a copy of the CIMN Radio constitution, as the new Station Manager
was not as familiar with the in's and out's of the legal situation as 
Amanda Hill, the former station manager who resigned in protest in 
January.  Murphy and Burns stated it was clear that CIMN was misleading 
the Union, and was hiding the nature of their independence from the 
Union.  Further, the Red Book contained predictions that sales would 
reach almost $30,000 by the year by 2000, and Fidel produced copies of 
both CHSR and CHMA's budgets, showing sales of less then half that, in 
larger or comparable markets, in long established stations.  How then, 
he charged, could CIMN ever expect to make that much in revenue?  And if
not, who was going to pay for the station?

Lynda Jefferson McGowan of Major Market Broadcasting (a regional agency)
has stated that $5000 a year was a realistic assessment of regional 
sales.  Target Broadcasting's Richard Sienko stated that $14,000 a year 
was reasonable in national.  That leaves on $11,000 in locally generated
sales, underwriting, sponsorship, and special promotions.  The Price 
Edward Island radio sales market is valued at $5 million per year.

Further, CIMN had a scheduled general meeting of UPEI Student Radio, and
had tried repeatedly to explain rational for seperate incorporation to 
the Union, and its General Manager.

With the time allotted for the meeting growing to a close, the motion 
went to a vote.  Council chose to use  secret ballot, the Student 
Council voted to stop all funding for CIMN, by a vote of 11 to 6, with 
one abstention..  CIMN was a considered a sub-org, meaning it was a 
second tier society.  Its now been downgraded to a "club," like Wen Do 
or the Rowing club.  CIMN convened an emergency meeting back at the 
station, and went into overdrive, planning how to work around the 
Student Union.

             *      *      *

Its fascinating to watch how quickly young, non-political students 
become political animals when something they care deeply about is 
threatened.  On Monday the Student Union was holding an all candidates 
forum for the ongoing elections.  The programming executive of the 
station managed to get out CBC TV and radio and the Guardian newspaper 
to cover the meeting.  The student paper stopped the presses late Sunday
night and has put the shutdown on the cover of its Tuesday issue.  About
60 students showed up at the forum and grilled the Burn's over the 

Please picture this.  The reasonable, clean cut, just plain nice kids 
from who have put in all this work to help the University and the 
community, fighting mad, sitting there, throwing out question after 
question.  President Elect Burns, who is acclaimed because no one ran 
against him, is wearing a suit and tie, and is turning beet red and 
sweating.  Its the kids verses the suits, its the oppressed verse the 
man.  Its the good guys verse the bad guys and it makes great TV.  The 
CBC guys are grinning ear to ear and loving every minute.  

One student asks: "How many of you like listening to Micheal Bolton on 
the way to school and Starship on the way back?"  The answer is a 
resounding cheer!  Right on!  We need a radio station!

Best of all, I had a sneaking suspicion that if UPEI Student Union's 
records were so shoddy, probably they hadn't kept on top of their own 
corporate papers either.  At 10am on Monday, two hours before the forum,
Melissa, Colin and I went down to the Attorney General's office and got 
a certified copy of the UPEI Student Union's constitution.  A quick 
examination showed it hadn't;t been updated since 1985, and that the 
structure of the executive and the nominations and elections section 
which were in the registered document are not at all what the Union has 
been operating under this past year.

The station executive presents the true constitution to the 
President-Elect at the forum.  The camera captures the moment as he 
looks at it and tosses it aside as irrelevant.  "What about CIMN then?" 
someone in the audience shouts.  Burn's has no answer.  Burns doesn't 
know what to do with the camera two feet from his face as he struggle to
answer question after question.  Finally, he gives up and walks out.

The station's executive, after the meeting in the afternoon, is going to
move to have the Student Union elections overturned, and will then run 
its own slate of candidates.

             *      *      *

So, by the end of the week, the situation will be this.  The UPEI 
Student Radio, Inc, will have brought its by-laws in compliance with the
Promise of Performance.  They will then open a bank account for CIMN 
outside of Student Union control.  They have retain a lawyer and are 
looking for an accountant.  One wealthy Islander, who's son volunteers 
at the station, has agreed to loan the station the money to go FM.  The 
station still has a license and owns its own equipment.  Hopefully the 
CRTC will grant them an extension and they can go FM in the fall.

Target Broadcasting is going to try and get brokered programming for the
station, 2 hours a morning of religious broadcasting.  The Student Union
had fought this in the past, threatening to suspend funding, but they 
don't have much say anymore.  The value of the Student Union 
contribution is $14,000, but the value of the religions programming 
could be as high as $27,000 per year.

The Student Union President and VPE were seen down at the Attorney 
General's office on Tuesday morning trying to find out exactly how bad 
the Student Union's situation is.  CIMN's lawyer, working for free, 
believes that the elections could be stayed by a court, though this may 
prove unnecessary.

While the obvious fear at this point is that the Union will change the 
locks on the station, and ignore the stations legitimate right to access
to the offices and equipment of the Student Radio, Inc, it appears that 
they are too busy trying to get their own house in order to do much more
damage.  Perhaps the executive was driven by a neo-con imparative to 
destoy what it couldnÕt control, but their attempt to *manage* the 
situation has blown up in their faces, and was likened by one observer 
to trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

Other then that, it appears that CIMN has won on most fronts, and 
despite not having student funding until a hopefully successful 
referendum later next year, the station will continue to soldier on.  
The CRTC remains an important question, but by bringing the By-Laws into
compliance with the PoP, the only issue between the station and the CRTC
will be financial. The station executive hopes that it will be able to 
arrange the referendum so that the money collected from each student is 
paid directly from the University to Student Radio, and the Union will 
have the temptation to withhold funds removed from future consideration.

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