Bennington Radio (B-Rad) is a community-based, student-run radio station that seeks to enhance the lives of its listeners and bridge the gap between Bennington College and the rest of the world. We strive to reflect and amplify the creative life on campus while fostering an environment of inclusion and diversity. We welcome anyone who values both self-expression and community service, including fellow students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the greater Bennington community. We will deliver the truth with journalistic integrity, excellence, and the idealism original and fundamental to Bennington College. We will advocate for the music and art ignored by the mainstream and for the stories yet unheard. We seek to inspire, inform, and entertain.
To the voices of our community, we offer microphones.
All staff members at B-Rad are subject to the existing published Bennington College Community Standards, as well as the College’s Policy of Violations barring destruction of College property, theft, violence, or recording an individual without permission. In addition, all staff members must refrain from using slurs or hate speech, either on-air or off. To be clear, The American Bar Association defines hate speech as “speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.” Hate speech goes beyond disrespect on an individual level and uses harmful and discriminatory cultural frameworks with the intention of belittling either a specific person or a marginalized group. To use hate speech is to actively oppress.
While greater leeway will be given to lyrical content than spoken content, The Student Board strongly discourages broadcasting music with highly disrespectful lyrics and themes, and recommends using respectful tone and language on-air. However, if a contributor wishes to broadcast content that may be offensive to some listeners, the Student Board requires announcing at the beginning of the show, and then periodically again during the show, that the content may be offensive to some and discretion is advised.
Therefore, while there is no official list of prohibited words, phrases, or themes, all Contributors should only broadcast content they feel comfortable defending to the Student Board. The Board holds Contributors to a high standard because they speak for and represent not just themselves, but the station and the entire Bennington College Community.
The first time the Station Managers learn of content or language from a contributor that is contrary to these standards, the Managers will notify them in order to clarify the standards. The second time, the Contributor will have a discussion with the entire Student Board. The third time, that conversation will be with the Community Advisory Board, which will determine whether the Contributor should be barred from future broadcasting. Additionally, The Community Advisory Board retains the right to take action when faced with an extreme situation.
All contributors must sign the B-Rad Community Standards Agreement (see attached Document A)
Contributors are expected to be respectful of the studio space. Contributors are asked to be mindful of the fact that the B-Rad studio is a communal space used by many people; if the space is left in disarray, this negatively affects the experience of other DJs coming in to do their shows. Recognize that participation in B-Rad is a unique opportunity that comes with responsibility.
All rules governing elections and Board positions are effective immediately. The full text of these bylaws shall be presented for editing and ratification to the inaugural student board and approved by a 5/7 majority.
These bylaws shall be subject to amendment by all future Student Boards, pending approval of a 5/7 majority.
Station Participant Bill of Rights:
1. The right to access minutes from Student Board and Community Advisory Board
2. The right to comprehensive equipment and craft training.
3. The right to be informed of changes to the station.
4. The right to have concerns heard and addressed by the governing boards.
5. The right to step down or otherwise resign given two weeks notice.
Schedule of Elections:
Elections happen yearly in the Spring for all student board positions (as defined in Governance Structure down bellow). Board members who wish to remain in their current positions must re-apply each year.
Students can access a feedback form from B-Rad’s website or Facebook page. This form is viewed by Station Managers, whose responsibility it is to address the feedback. Station Managers shall disperse constructive criticism to B-Rad contributors.
Members of the radio community are invited to attend student board meetings if there are pressing issues or concerns they would like to voice to the board as a whole.
Student Board: The Student Board is in charge of all station and staff management, and creating and managing the budget. It is a body where the elected leaders of all areas of the station come together and ensure that things are running smoothly. The board consists of:
Station Managers: Station managers are responsible for management of personnel, adherence to station rules, scheduling, special programming, and the general direction of the station. They are also responsible for creating and managing the station’s budget, including keeping licensing up to date and paying bills.
Music Representative: In addition to representing the concerns of the Music staff to the Student Board, the Music Rep is also in charge of delegating the incoming new music listening and cataloging. They also facilitate and manage the workshopping process for Music content.
Talk Representative: The Talk Representative voices the concerns of the Talk staff to the Student Board and facilitates and manages the workshopping process for Talk content.
PR Manager: This position manages PR and social media for the station.
Technology Manager: The Technology Manager is in charge of website upkeep, all of the station’s equipment, and providing perspective and information on any technological issues that the station may confront.
To qualify to run for any student board position applicants must have at least a term of significant and consistent involvement with the day to day operations of the station. The ballot for these positions will include an additional question that asks for a description of this involvement.
Community Advisory Board: The CAB consists of 5-7 faculty, staff, and community members selected and re-appointed at the first meeting of each new Student Board. The CAB approves the general budget, as well as any expenditures over $100. It also handles disciplinary issues that could not be handled by the Student Board, as well as the removal and replacement of Student Board members. The CAB serves a general advisory role and operates as a safety-net.
(2018 note: CAB will begin assisting in the hiring process for future board members. The extent to which is still under consideration.)
If any member of the B-Rad board wishes to step down, they may do so at any time providing that they submit a two weeks notice to the Board and the CAB. They may also specify a later date for their resignation to be effective.
Additionally, if a station contributor with a time slot desires to discontinue their show in the middle of a term, they must give at least two weeks notice to the station managers. Even after their resignation has been handed in, they must continue to produce their show for the period of notice. If the station managers find a suitable replacement before their period of notice is up, they may stop producing at that point.
If there are applicants available from the last Student Board election, the vacant seat will be offered to the person with the highest vote total for that position. If they accept, they will be eligible for reelection in the next cycle. If no such person is available, the Student Board will offer the seat to another qualified member of the station.
In the event that the Student Board wants to remove a member of the Community Advisory Board, they can do so with a 5/7 majority vote. Written record of the vote should accompany a brief statement explaining the decision.
In the event that a station contributor or another board member wishes to remove one of the members of the Student Board, they can do so by petitioning the CAB.
Across all areas of the station, attendance and punctuality is mandatory and of the utmost importance.
Members of either board who miss more than one meeting without giving prior notice will be at risk of being removed from their seat. When this occurs, the rest of the board will discuss whether the infraction is worthy of termination.
If B-Rad personnel can’t make their show, they must clear it with the station managers at least forty-eight hours beforehand and either make arrangements for a stand-in or prepare a playlist or rerun. If a contributor doesn’t make it on time for their show and/or misses it entirely, the station managers will talk to them and give them a warning. If it becomes clear that a contributor has repeatedly missed their show without proper explanation, their show will be removed from the schedule. Exceptions will be given in emergency circumstances.
A certain percentage of the B-Rad budget every term is dedicated to the purchase of new music, in order to pursue the growth of the station’s music library. If a contributor wishes to request the purchase of new music (not currently owned by the station), they must contact the station’s Music Representative.
The Music Rep will be in charge of delegating and organizing the new music and those reviewing it. DJs may be asked to review new albums as they are acquired by the station, with an emphasis placed on local music from Bennington and the surrounding areas. DJs are strongly encouraged to play new music on their shows.