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Bucknell Station to Pay $2,200 in FCC Consent Decree

Reduced penalty for student-run station that violated FCC filing and paperwork rules

Maybe it was the frenetic rush to get ready for semester final exams. But aperwork must be filed on time and in the right place regardless; and now a college station has gotten a real-world reminder from the FCC.

According to the commission, WVBU(FM), which is operated by Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., failed to maintain its quarterly issues-programs lists in its public file. The station had also moved its public file from the studio, which has restricted access, to a publicly accessible student center. FCC rules require that NCE radio licensees keep its public file at the station’s main studio.

In the end, leniency ruled the day, as it sometimes does in cases of first-time violations by student-run NCE radio stations.

Seeing that WVBU is a student-operated station and that this was its first offense, the commission entered into a consent degree with the school that will allow the station to submit a significantly reduced $2,200 for the violations, compared to the typical $10,000 fine. The FCC also took into account the station’s “legitimate need for campus security” and agreed to the university’s request that the file be kept in the university’s student life building. “In order to ensure that the public file is available for public inspection at any time during regular business hours, the university moved the public inspection file” to the publicly accessible student center, the university said by way of explanation in its communications with the commission.

As part of the consent decree, the university agreed to submit payment to the commission within 30 days.