The Victoria Broadcasting Club (VBC) was formally welcomed into the Victoria University of Wellington Students Association’ fold last Wednesday, with the signing of the Deed of the Victoria Broadcasting Trust.
The deed officially recognises the VBC’s relationship with VUWSA, and assigns it both financial security and accountability, both to the association and students at Victoria University of Wellington.
The low-key signing was presided over by VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle, Ngai Tauira President Albert Tibble, and VBC station managers Matthew Davis, Kristen Paterson and Doug Tereu.
VBC Station Manager Matthew Davis said the deed was long in the making and laid in stone the rules of engagement the VBC “was always meant to have.”
“It will look after the station in a way that makes us accountable to all the different interests and parties that are involved with the station, from the trustees, to the students, to Ngai Tauira to VUWSA—it really entrenches us properly within the student body,” Davis said.
Included as provisions for greater accountability to students is the continuation of the Trust’s membership policy. According to the deed, “every student of Victoria University, both past and present” is eligible to become a member.
The governance of the Trust will be in the hands of a Board of Trustees which will always consist of a member appointed by VUWSA, one by Nga Tauira, one by The VBC’s contractors appointed to manage the The VBC, and one chosen by VBC volunteers.
A minimum of 5 members and a maximum of 7 members will have a place on the Board of Trustees, with additional members to be elected by members of the trust should it be deemed necessary. This year the VBC received a 1 percent levy from the VUWSA Trust, in addition to $10,000 in funds it received from VUWSA, a situation that is applicable for this year only.
VUWSA President Jasmine Freemantle expressed that she would eventually like to see the VBC be commercially viable on its own terms.
For The VBC, Davis says, this means being able to “cover the costs of production,” which he is optimistic they are capable of doing.
The VBC was set up in 2005 to investigate the viability of a student radio station at Victoria, and began broadcasting in 2007.
Electronic copies of the deed will be made available through the VBC website.