ASUU to vote on KUTE cut

A bill to sever funding for KUTE, the U’s student-run radio station, will be voted on this week.

Members of the Associated Students of the University of Utah Senate and General Assembly will debate and vote on the measure to suspend student government funding for KUTE until June.

Student leaders are pushing for the cut because they believe the station does not have enough listeners to justify funding.

Currently, the station can be heard online at kute.org and in few campus locations on its radio frequency, 1620 AM, including the Residence Halls.

KUTE management has argued that the proposal is premature and would cripple the station.

The move will require the student government to amend Redbook, the ASUU constitution, which currently guarantees the station $15,000 in funding each year.

ASUU leaders favoring the cut said an audit recently revealed that the station has about $28,000 in its reserves and requires fewer than $15,000 per year to function.

Bob Avery, a communication professor and the station’s general manager, previously said the station needs more than $20,000 each year to meet expenses.

“It’s in our opinion that (Avery’s) numbers are off,” said Student Body President Jake Kirkham.

Avery said if the station could easily spend more than $20,000 per year it was operating “like it should be.”

If the bill is passed in both the ASUU Senate and Assembly, it must gain approval from the U Board of Trustees to take affect.

Avery said ASUU’s proposal was premature and should be withdrawn until an administrative task force currently evaluating the station along with other student media comes to a recommendation.

Kirkham said the proposal is a temporary solution to prevent funds from being wasted until the task force presents its findings.

The task force was created last May by the trustees after the board tabled a bill passed by the prior student government to give ASUU control over the station.