UNB Saint John radio station gets grant to promote diversity
Station has about 50 or 60 rotating volunteers and only 2 staff
Thanks to a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the campus and community radio station at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John is creating two new full-time positions in an effort to boost volunteers and diversity.
Brian Cleveland, the station manager, said the jobs will double the staff at Local 107.3 FM and allow them more time to recruit volunteers in underrepresented communities.
"Volunteers are our lifeblood and this program specifically is about improving the capacity and a lasting impact on the organization," he said.
"It's always something we can work to improve upon and something we are always focusing on."
The grant is for $50,000 and this was the fourth time the station applied for the funding.
Cleveland told Information Morning Saint John that one of the main challenges the station had was having enough time to dedicate to the number people who want to volunteer at the station.
"So the amount of people that come in our door all have a good experience, that they all receive an adequate amount of training, that they always feel they have support down the road," he said.
With about 50 or 60 rotating volunteers and only two staff, Cleveland said it's difficult to make sure everyone is taken care of.
"This will allow us a lot more focused support," he said.
The volunteer pool is diverse, mainly students, but others coming from the community.
Cleveland said there is a range of ages as well from 15 to some in their 80s.
"We're always looking for more women and more young women and that's going to be a big part of our focus as well," he said.
The station is celebrating 15 years on the air in 2016.
They do some volunteer recruitment in order to seek out programming that reflects the greater community, but plan to do more once the new positions are filled.
"That will be a big part of these individuals positions as well, recruiting from specific groups and specific under represented groups we will be targeting, women and seniors and youth and members of the LBGTQ community," Cleveland said.