Bennington Radio By-Laws
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. B-Rad is a sturdy vessel, ready to be filled again and again with the current spirit of the college as it changes. 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.
B-Rad is a learning lab, but it’s also an opportunity to have FUN!
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.
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.
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.
All contributors must sign the B-Rad Community Standards Agreement (see attached Document A)
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:
- The right to access minutes from Student Board and Community Advisory Board meetings.
- The right to comprehensive equipment and craft training.
- The right to be informed of changes to the station.
- The right to have concerns heard and addressed by the governing boards.
- The right to step down or otherwise resign given two weeks notice.
Schedule of Elections:
Applications are due May 1st, voting starts May 2nd, voting closes May 8th.
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.
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.
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.
(To qualify to run for the position of Station Manager, Music Rep, or Talk Rep, 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.)
PR Manager: This position manages PR and social media for the station.
Business Manager: The Business Manager is in charge of current licensing, managing budget and bill-paying, monitoring correspondence, and facilitating Board meetings. They also are required to set an agenda for Student Board meetings and share it with the rest of the board 24 hours in advance.
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.
Community Advisory Board: The CAB consists of 5-7 faculty, staff, and community members selected and reappointed 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.
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 to do so. 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.
- Board Members
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.
- Station Contributors
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 happens again, they are at risk of losing their slot. Exceptions will be given in emergency circumstances.
Initially, the station will build up their music collection with a music “dump” / donation period. After assessing the music, the board will buy whatever songs/albums are absolutely necessary for the shows they have selected to be on air.
New music will mostly be evaluated by various DJs and board members fulfilling their weekly requirement of work around the station. The Music Rep will be in charge of delegating and organizing the new music and those reviewing it.
Each DJ is responsible for listening to at least two new albums a week- station managers may adjust this number as the station grows and they deem a change necessary. DJs must log the fact that they listened to the album along with some meaningful feedback in the MP3 file notes. DJs are strongly encouraged to play new music on their shows.
B-Rad Community Standards Agreement
As a contributor to Bennington Radio, I understand that I am speaking not just for myself but for the entire station, and as a representative of the entire Bennington College community. I will be thoughtful and intentional with the words that I use and the ideas that I express, because I know that the artistic work that I do for this station affects my community. I respect that B-Rad is a common space, and I will work to ensure that I am not making it unsafe for any member of my community. I will conduct myself with maturity and professionalism, both on the air and in my interactions with fellow radio personnel. I will not use hate speech under any circumstances.
By signing this agreement, I indicate that I understand that if my work or my actions violate the standards outlined above, I will be held accountable. I will answer to my Station Managers, Student Governing Board, and Community Advisory Board, and take whatever action they may deem necessary.
Name Signature ___________________________ Date______
Station Manager ________________________ Date______