KDVS needs your help and support more than ever before.
The student-run, free-form campus radio station depends on community donations to account for about $60,000, or two-thirds, of its operating budget. The remaining money, which is about $30,000 needed to run the station, comes from the student government. However, ASUCD reduced its support last year, and it’s uncertain whether there will be future decreases for this ASUCD unit.
Although this annual fundraiser has the same goal every year, additional money is required with this year’s additional expenses due to the addition of a radio tower, which increases the station’s broadcasting range to Sacramento, Woodland, Dixon, Winters and other nearby areas.
Core staff members and volunteers work 24/7 this week to promote the station, ask for help and do anything they can to raise money.
“My freshman year, I did not sleep for an entire week. I was really gung-ho about the station, so I would work on papers, be sick and actually lose my voice halfway through my second show of the week, because I was talking so much,” said Maxwell Sowell, a third-year linguistics and philosophy double major and director of productions at KDVS.
Walk into the station located in Lower Freeborn at any time besides 3 to 6 a.m. and you’ll find any number of students making buttons, answering phone calls, tending to emails or broadcasting live on air this week. The shift leader refreshes the donation page online to check donations and pass along messages to the DJs for shout-outs to donors and friends.
With more than a dozen random instruments, an expired box of Milk-Bones and the creative minds of students around the station, each DJ or talk-show host has the ability to utilize any and all things to get listeners to donate.
“On my show, I ate habaneros. I wanted to eat one for every dollar donated so that I would end up crying from them,” said Edward Chu, a third-year geology major. “But since my show is at 2 a.m., no one was listening. I still ended up eating the peppers and cried on-air anyway.”
At the time of the interview, Nicole Lesnett, a fourth-year international relations major and office coordinator at the radio station, was found prancing around the station in a bumblebee costume, the KDVS shift-leader uniform. In between answering questions, she would squeal with delight as the online donations page would update with new logs of donors.
“We’ll do anything for anyone who tunes in. On my show ‘Right Meow’ we’re writing raps and songs for anyone who donates during [our time on air],” Lesnett said.
After jotting down the donor’s name and contribution, she ran into the studio to pass the note to the DJ just in case he or she happened to know the patron. The last step was to update the whiteboard visible to the show’s host with the growing totals for both the entire week and the current show.
“Each show has its own goal, and although you can donate at any time during this week, you can wait and donate during your friend’s show,” Lesnett said.
Each donation is tax-deductible, and depending on the amount of each contribution, the station gives thanks with a variety of premiums. Button/sticker packs, shirts, DJ compilation CDs, vinyls, gift certificates, the opportunity to host your own show and mobile DJ units for event entertainment are among many other items displayed on the fundraiser website.
“Volunteers at the station need to complete 50 hours in order to host their own show, so this week is the perfect week to get a lot of those hours done,” Lesnett said. “It’s the most fun and exciting right now, button-making is great and there’s a ton of free food.”
In addition to the on-air fundraising drive, a series of events that began on Picnic Day continue throughout the week. These include house shows, Quad performances and giveaways, with more events to be added throughout the week. The live week-long event page can be found on KDVS’ Facebook page.
The majority of the KDVS operating budget goes toward maintenance of equipment. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and regular maintenance is required to keep it on the air. To keep this radio station, which has been serving the community since 1967, alive and serving as a working laboratory for anyone interested, listen in at 90.3 FM, call the station at (530) 754-5387 or go online at fundraiser.kdvs.org. Cash, card and check donations are welcome.
ELIZABETH ORPINA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.