Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
CKDU 97.5 FM is a Dalhousie University campus-based community radio station located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Its mandate is to provide the Halifax area with an alternative to public and private radio broadcasting.
CKDU evolved from the Dalhousie University radio club. In 1975 the station was dubbed CKDU and began broadcasting via closed circuit to Dal residences from the Dal Student Union Building (or SUB). In 1985 CKDU was converted to an FM station and was for the first time able to reach an audience in Halifax at large. The station currently broadcasts at a power of 33 watts. This is largely sufficient to reach the area around the station but the quality is poor in many parts of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The station recieved permission from the CRTC in 2000 to upgrade its transmitter to a power of 2200 watts, but as of 2005 the station is still working on obtaining the funds (estimated at CDN$100,000) to make this upgrade.
The progamming on CKDU tends to be eclectic. In-house policy is that anything that is heard on a commercial or public (ie. the CBC) radio station should not be heard on CKDU. CKDU's license also prohibits it from playing selections that have made certain charts such as the Billboard Hot 100 chart, preventing it from entering into competition with local commercial Top 40 stations. Due to the fact that programmers are usually young volunteers, CKDU sometimes does not have the programming lineup it might wish for- heavy metal shows are particularly common, and shows that feature spoken word as well as other types of music are frequently given preference for regular time slots. That said, CKDU is one of the few radio stations based in the Maritimes where one can hear local hip-hop, live electronic music, liberal and anarchist news shows, and the like. CKDU also hosts a number of shows programmed by ethnic minorities in the Halifax area, frequently broadcasting in their native languages rather than either of the official languages of Canada. Generally programming on CKDU is either a regular program which occurs at the same time(s) every week or one-off shows. The one-off shows are usually fill-ins for absent regular programmers or "all-nighter" slots which run from 2:00-7:00 AM. Generally the regular slots are regarded as being more prestigious than the all-nighters and are given to established programmers. The all-nighter slots are usually occupied by new programmers or ones who do not wish to apply for a regular slot. As a station regulated by the CRTC, CKDU is also bound by can-con regulations.
CKDU relies on volunteers both for its day-to-day operations and for programming duty. It is reasonably straightforward to become a programmer at CKDU- one puts in approximately 10 hours of volunteer work doing things like manning phones and putting up flyers and then one is eligible for CKDU membership and programming privledges after a short training course is completed. While this policy occasionally causes some grief for CKDU, it is largely responsible for the diversity of on-air voices.
CKDU is supported in part by Dalhousie University, however most of its operating budget come from fundraising drives conducted each year. There are few paid staff at the station (and they are not paid particularly well), most of the programmers being volunteers from the community. At one time CKDU did not advertise at all but currently accepts ad spots from a variety of advertisers, usually local nightspots and the like. The station also airs community announcements for no fee. Programmers are usually given a choice of ads and announcements to run on their programs so these intermissions tend to be short and topical (and sometimes inconsistent). The fundraising drives are conducted both by calling previous supporters of the station and by soliciting donations on air. On air donations are usually rewarded with prizes of some kind, supplied by the programmer, whose monetary value often equals the value of the donation.
CKDU is located on the fifth floor of the Dalhousie student union building (6136 University Ave.) and is accessible to the general public. The station consists of a main lobby/waiting room, three offices which the paid station administration uses for their day-to-day duties, the station's vinyl record collection room, a maitenance room, a recording studio and the radio booth itself. The booth is a small room containing the CD collection of the station as well as new releases for easy access by the programmers. The equipment consists of a pair of Technics SL-1200s, a somewhat finicky vintage 1970s mixing board, a number of CD and tape decks, and an ancient reel-to-reel machine. Some of the equipment is unreliable and a sign on the wall reminds programmers not to talk about technical problems on the air (another sign beside it reminds neophyte programmers what the phone number of the station is). The booth is furnished with numerous chairs for the programmers and guests. The room is filled with colourful and frequently profane graffiti left by several generations of programmers. The booth also has access to the roof via its windows, which is occasionally taken advantage of by programmers who smoke cigarettes of various descriptions (although this of course is strictly forbidden by station policy).
Controversy and appeal
CKDU occasionally lands itself in hot water with its listeners and, more rarely, with the CRTC for the content of its shows (see for example this  CRTC license renewal describing a few complaints against CKDU). Due to the relative ease with which any community member can go on the air, there have been occasionally offensive broadcasts, particularly by all-nighter programmers, who are left unsupervised during the wee hours of the morning. These problems are generally rare, however. More common are outrageous and silly programmers whose antics would not be tolerated on commercial radio stations. This makes up part of the appeal of the station for many. This behaviour can range from the relatively benign (frank, sometimes heated, arguments on air between programmers, intoxicated all-nighter programmers, etc) to the outlandish (one programmer as part of a funding drive broadcast began making a shrill wailing noise on-air and threatened to continue indefinitely until a certain amount was donated. CKDU now prohibits threats as a method of fundraising).
A number of notable individuals have passed through the booth at CKDU, a few of whom are listed below:
Andrew Duke - experimental techno artist (website), hosted a number of shows as well as serving as Program director
Buck 65 - hip-hop artist, hosted the show "The Bassment", later renamed "The Treatment"
Skratch Bastid - hip-hop DJ, also hosted "The Treatment"
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details