WNTH Bylaws and Policies

Effective October 12th, 2015

 

WNTH is a student-run organization that provides students with an opportunity to experiment with broadcasting and communications in a safe, appropriate environment catering to the New Trier Community.

 

Sections 1.1-1.7  

1.1 Purpose

      WNTH Radio is a volunteer organization.  Membership is open to New Trier students who wish to participate and who meet the membership requirements listed in section 1.3. Board members and the sponsors of WNTH are responsible for the integrity of the stations image and actions; all members must adhere to a Code of Conduct set forth below.

      The primary purpose of WNTH Radio is to operate the non-commercial education FM broadcast station licensed to the Board of Education of New Trier High School District 203, in Winnetka, Illinois.

      WNTH shall provide a broadcast service in the form of information and entertainment programming. 

      All WNTH radio programming shall meet the public interest and convenience of the school and its surrounding community.

 

1.2 Responsibilities

      WNTH Radio shall, at all times, be responsible to:

A. The New Trier community.

B. The Board of Education of New Trier High School for the operation of the licensed radio station.  As outlined in the New Trier Guidebook, students are expected to demonstrate a high level of responsibility in an effort to maintain the trust and respect of the New Trier community.  Topics about which there may be controversy or dissent must be handled with regard to sensitivity and professional ethics.

C.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for compliance with the federal laws, rules, regulations, and policies pursuant to the operation of a Class A non-commercial education FM broadcast station.

 

1.3 Membership

A.  The membership of WNTH is open to all current New Trier High School students who     demonstrate active interest in the station by participating in the station’s operations and                adhering to the WNTH Bylaws and Policies.

      All active members, including substitutes, are required to participate fully in the WNTH fundraising activity(ies).

      Any student who has been properly trained, has participated in the Fundraiser(s) and agrees

to follow the WNTH Bylaws is eligible to be placed on the WNTH active staff roster (each is       hereafter referred to as “operator” or “staff members”).

      The full staff shall meet frequently in order to insure the proper operation of WNTH.

      Mass meetings shall be scheduled by the station manager who shall plan and chair all staff

meetings.

      All staff members are required to attend mass meetings.

 

      In the event that a staff member is unable to attend a staff meeting due to prior engagement,

he/she, must contact a board member as soon as possible about the content of the meeting missed, and shall receive a report about the events of a meeting.

 

1.4 WNTH Staff Selection Procedure

      At the first mass meeting, the WNTH Board of Directors and Sponsors will be introduced. 

      The Station Manager will go over the application and ask for any questions.

      Applications and a 5 minute “demo” should be submitted 2-3 weeks after the applications are announced to be “live.” An exact due date will be on the application.  After all applications are turned in, the Radio Board will read all show applications and listen to the “demo” tapes. 

      After all applications are reviewed, the Station Manager and Programming Director first fill the “prime” timeslots (i.e. morning, afternoon, evening) and then move on to Daytime timeslots, taking into account tape quality, and scheduling limitations.

      After the programming schedule is complete, a substitute list will be formed.  The remaining applications that have not been put into the programming schedule will be put on the substitute list unless the Station Manager and/or Programming Director find the applicant(s) to be not suitable for WNTH Radio.

      The programming schedule and substitute list will be submitted to the head sponsor for approval.  Once approved, the applicants are notified of their WNTH staff status and informed of their training time through advisory mail.

 

1.5 Format

      Board members and sponsors shall approve the format of radio shows submitted by applicants.

      Generally, the format is freeform-variety.

 

1.6 Board of Directors

A.  WNTH shall be maintained and operated by a Board of Directors, each of whom shall hold one of the following positions:

1. Station Manager

2. Programming Director

3. Operations Director

            4. Chief Engineer

            5. Publicity/Promotions Director

            6. Public Affairs Director

            7. Music Director

8. Special Events Director

            9. Office Manager

            10. Freshmen Liaison

            11. Studio Engineer

      The members of the Board of Directors must be the enrolled in Radio Practicum, which meets daily during ninth period in order to ensure the efficient operation and management of WNTH.

      Depending on interest or need, there may be addition assistant positions on the WNTH board

B. Board Selection Process

      Application Procedure

1. Applications and job descriptions are made available during the spring, at least two weeks before interviews are scheduled to take place during the spring.  All New Trier freshmen, sophomores, and juniors may apply.

2. Application will be due 2-3 weeks after they are made available.

3. Each applicant must participate in a 10-15 minute interview will be scheduled for each applicant. Interviews take place over two to four consecutive days.  Whenever possible, individuals applying for the same position will be seen one after another.

      4. The board members and sponsors will interview applicants. Only senior board members, sponsors, and applicants participate in the interview and selection process.

      Selection Procedure

1. Once all of the interviews have been completed, the Board and sponsors will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each individual applicant.

2. Once all of the applicants have been discussed, the Board and sponsors will discuss placements of specific applicants in specific positions.

3. Once all applicants have been evaluated for specific positions, the Board will vote for specific applicants in specific positions.  Only those board members who have attended all of the interviews for a specific position may vote for that position.  This first round of voting is usually verbal and begins with the selection of the station manager.  The Board may decide, by majority vote, to vote by secret ballot or to begin with a different position.

4. Any applicant who is voted into a specific position by unanimous vote will automatically be placed in that position. 

5. Any position not filled by unanimous vote will be left open for further discussion and a second vote.

6. The Board and sponsors will discuss the remaining applicants and positions.

7. The Board will vote on the remaining positions.  The applicant with the majority of votes in a specific position will be placed in that position.

      In the event of a tied second vote on any position, the head faculty sponsor will break the tie in consultation with the other sponsors in attendance.

      The sponsors must approve the new Board.  Such approval will not be unreasonably withheld.

      As with most station business, all selection activities are confidential and should not be discussed outside of official meetings.  Any student breaching confidentiality may be subject to reprimand.

C. Removal from Board

      Students may be removed from the Board in the discretion of the sponsors.  If a student is removed from the Board, he/she must withdraw from Radio Practicum.  Grounds for removal include, but are not limited to:

A. Failure to meet class and/or Board responsibilities;

B. Extreme and/or repeated acts of insubordination;

C. Extreme and/or repeated violations of the WNTH Bylaws.

D. Violation of the activities policy

      A fellow board member may recommend removal of another board member by filing a written recommendation.

 

1.7 Student Leadership Statement

      Students are encouraged to participate in WNTH to supplement their academic experience.

      For students choosing to become involved in WNTH at a leadership level, there are many rewards but also many responsibilities.  Each WNTH board member may participate in leadership training, workshops, and seminars, which prepare him/her for their responsibilities.  Since we want to ensure the benefits of academic and extracurricular activities, these students will be asked to meet New Trier's academic eligibility criteria.  Participation in the WNTH Board is a great experience for a future career in radio or any other field involving communication.  WNTH provides a unique experience that gives students an opportunity with cutting edge technology and strengthens communication and decision making skills.

 

Sections 2.0-3.27: Code of Conduct & Policies

2.0 Code of Conduct

      The FCC, the New Trier Board of Education, and WNTH Radio, mandates the following rules. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct or other policies of WNTH may result in any one or more of the following:

A. Verbal or written warnings;

B. Temporary suspension from WNTH and all related activities;

C. Permanent removal from WNTH and all related activities.

      The Station Manager, Programming Director, Operations Director, and the Head Sponsor (or

her/his delegate) will be responsible for all reprimands and assignment of appropriate consequences.  They constitute The Discipline Committee who may call upon the rest of the Board for advice in any discipline situation.

      Anyone may report a violation to WNTH sponsors or board members.  The Discipline

Committee will investigate reported violations.

      If the Discipline Committee agrees that a permanent suspension is the appropriate consequence for a violation, it shall present the case and its recommended penalty to the Board for approval.  Approval shall be obtained with a majority vote.  A majority is understood to mean that more than half of the board members must vote to permanently suspend the staff member.  If the permanent suspension is not approved, the sponsors will impose an appropriate consequence.  That consequence may not be permanent suspension.

      If a violation has occurred, the seriousness of the violation, the past performance of the

individual, the best interest of the station, and the intent of the person who committed the violation will be taken into consideration with any other issues relevant to the violation before a reprimand is issued.

      The Board and sponsors shall make reasonable efforts to respond to similar violations with

similar consequences.

      In many cases a warning will be given before any suspension is put in place, however, some

violations may incur immediate suspension if the violations are considered particularly 

serious.

      When deemed appropriate by the sponsor(s), violations may be reported to other New Trier

departments or other community authorities.  Of special concern is any violation that demonstrates negative intent and/or that may jeopardize personal safety, the station facility, or WNTH’s compliance with any school or government regulation or policy.

      Further break of suspension could result in further consequences (i.e. losing on air privileges for the entire year).

      Surveillance equipment is in use throughout the station.  This equipment is used primarily for

supervision in case of the destruction, etc., of WNTH property. Expect the film to be reviewed.

      WNTH operates under the New Trier policies contained in the “Handbook.”  WNTH staff

members should take special note of the policies governing “Student Expression” and “Student Media Organizations.”  Students are expected to demonstrate a high level of responsibility in an effort to maintain the trust and respect of the New Trier community.  Topics about which there may be controversy of dissent must be handled with regard to sensitivity and professional ethics.

      While the Board and sponsors agree that on-air behavior is of primary concern, off-air

behavior is a reflection of professional and responsible broadcasting.  Off-air behavior must be within the guidelines set by the “Handbook,” much like the “Athletic Code” governs athletes’ behavior on or off the field.

 

 

2.1 Basic Format

Shows will include the following,

      Public Service Announcements will be played per Board’s request. Note: there are no guidelines for the playback of PSAs on Public Radio.

      Shows will include the Title of the Show, followed by Station ID: 88.1 WNTH, Winnetka every time a DJ comes onto the mic at the beginning of their show, and they must say it at the end of their show.

      Shows will announce the Station identification as such: 88.1 FM WNTH in Winnetka, IN THAT ORDER!

      While it is not mandatory, it is a professional practice to announce your show name and the time after you come back to a live mic.

      Or-air personnel will reset equipment and clean up the studio before signing out.

 

 

2.2   Interruption Policy

      Once material has been placed “on-air,” operators must play it through to its completion unless an exception applies. Operators are not to stop CDs, carts, audio vault or material from instant replay once it has begun.

      EXCEPTIONS:

A. Operators are to interrupt programming for EAS tests and messages.

B. Operators may interrupt material if it was played expressly with the intention of playing just a segment.  This intention must be expressed on the air, prior to air, and fades are to be made smoothly.

C. If an operator realizes, after placing the material “on-air,” that the material contains indecent or inappropriate contents, the operator may interrupt or fade the song out.

 

2.3 Contests

      All contests on WNTH must be approved in writing by the programming director prior to execution. Operators (DJs) must obtain written permission from the head sponsor prior to the announcement of the contest.

      Daytime contests are forbidden per FCC regulations. Contests are only permitted during evening and night time slots.

      Operators will be responsible for all contests.  Operators MUST follow through on promised material and deliver prizes promptly.

      Operators must disclose all details of the contest and play the “Contest Disclaimer” PRIOR to initiating the contest.

      Fraudulent contests or those contests that may cause public harm violate FCC regulations and shall be avoided.

 

2.4 Audio Levels

      Operators must monitor audio levels using the digital bars on the console.  These readings should be at about #10.

      Levels in the “red zone” (flashing exclamation mark will appear if the levels are too high) can cause over-modulation, which is a violation of FCC regulations.

 

3.1 Hours of Operation

      WNTH’s broadcast hours are 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM Mondays through Saturdays.

      Any need to deviate from this schedule MUST be explained to and approved by the station manager and head sponsor at least three days prior to the event.

 

3.2 Phone Calls

      Daytime operators may not put callers on the air.

      All other operators may put screened incoming callers on the air, if the delay is functioning. The following is an appropriate way of answering a call on the air: “Hi. Thank you for calling 88.1 WNTH Winnetka. This is (DJ’s name) and you are calling (Title of the Show). What’s your question/request/suggestion/idea?

      For outgoing calls, the operator must obtain permission by saying, “I’m calling from WNTH radio.  Do I have your permission to put you on the air?”  The subject must say, “YES” BEFORE the operator may put him or her on the air.

 

 

3.3 Personal Attacks

      Personal Attacks or personal threats, whether verbal, written, or otherwise, are never allowed on or off the air (i.e. phone calls, guests, etc.)

      There will be NO insulting of any guests, callers, students, faculty staff, WNTH Board members, staff, and sponsors, New Trier High School or any listeners.

      Absolutely no obscenities, racial or ethnic slurs, offensive comments, personal attacks, or material advocating violence is allowed on the air.

 

3.4 Personal Attacks and Controversial Issues

      When, during the presentation of views on a controversial issue of public importance, an attack is made upon the honesty, character, integrity or similar personal qualities of an identified person or group, the DJ shall, within one week after the attack, provide the persons or group attacked with:

1. Notification of the date, time and identification of the broadcast;

2. A script or tape (or an accurate summary if a script or tape is not available) of the attack; and

3. An offer of a reasonable opportunity to respond on-air.

 

3.5 Fairness Doctrine

      The Fairness Doctrine provides that broadcasters have certain obligations to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance.  This includes any aspect of New Trier High School or WNTH that may be viewed as controversial. If a listener invokes the Fairness Doctrine, an offer of a reasonable opportunity to respond on air shall be made.

 

3.6 Re-broadcasting

      No staff member may ever re-broadcast material taken directly from another TV, internet or radio broadcast, including subsequent copies of such material, without written permission from the owner of the original broadcast and approval by the programming director or station manager prior to the broadcast.

 

3.7 Arrival

      All on air personnel will arrive at the station prior to of the starting time of his/her on-air shift.

      Daytime operators should arrive during the passing period.

 

3.8 Failure to Be Present

      Each on-air staff member is responsible for his/her assigned broadcast shift.

      If a staff member fails to be present for his/her assigned shift, he/she will be classified as a “no show.”

      Any staff member classified as a “no show” is still responsible for his/her missed shift.

 

3.9 Substitute Policy

      If a staff member is unable to broadcast his/her show, he/she is responsible for scheduling a qualified substitute.

      Each substitute must be a member of the WNTH staff.

      When a substitute is found, the staff member shall contact the Programming Director and provide the name and phone number of the substitute.

      If the staff member is unable to find a substitute, the Programming Director will find one provided that notice is given at least 3 days prior to the broadcast in question.

      If a staff member has not heard from the Programming Director or the substitute has not been posted on the control room calendar one day before broadcast, a follow up call MUST be placed to the Programming Director.

      Unapproved substitutes will be recorded as “no shows.”

 

3.10 Joint Responsibility Policy

      If a staff member shares your broadcast shift with one or more partners, all are jointly responsible for the shift and the actions of all operators, regardless of who is actually in the control room.

 

3.11 Guest Policy

      All WNTH members are legally responsible by federal law for the conduct of any guests or visitors who are on the air, either as a guest, visitor, or on the phone.

      The Station Manager or Programming Director must approve all guests in writing at least three days before the scheduled broadcast.

      Each guest is only allowed to be a guest once a month. Any person appearing more than once a month must be a host on the given timeslot and must be an eligible member of the WNTH staff.

 

3.12 Station Occupancy

      No more than four people are allowed in the control room at one time.

      If more than four people are needed, use of Studio A is required, which requires the scheduling and approval by the Chief Engineer, in writing, three days before the event, and also requires brief additional training.

      Only personnel with the need to occupy the station may do so.  Visitors are not allowed in the station unless they are a pre-approved guest.  No one may be in the station unless he/she has business to conduct.

      Station occupancy decisions are at the discretion of a sponsor, board member, or the operator currently on duty.

 

3.13 Compliance with Instructions

      Board members and sponsors will, as needed, instruct staff members to adjust their behavior in the station.  As long as the instructions do not jeopardize personal safety or compliance with other New Trier policies, staff members are expected to comply with Board instructions.  Staff members who believe instructions are not reasonable should comply with the instructions until they have the opportunity to discuss the issue with a sponsor at a later time.  Anyone who chooses not to comply with such instructions by continuing such behavior shall be presumed to demonstrate negative intent and may be subject to reprimand as outlined in Section 2.0.

 

3.14 Food and Drink

      Absolutely no food, candy, gum, or drink is allowed anywhere in the station, including the stairwell and lobby.

 

3.15 Logs and Operations

      On air personnel will keep maintenance logs in accordance with the Board guidelines as described below.

A.         The operator is required to make a note in the “I Broke It” form as a first order of business. This form informs the Board about the state of cleanliness and equipment issues at the station.

B. If a previous show was a “no-show,” the next staff member is on-air required to play the temporary sign on and play the 24 play list or go on the air.

C. Any sign on or sign off must be accompanied by the appropriate informational piece:

Sign on:                       Mornings, first sign on of day

Sign off:                       Evenings, final sign off of day

Temporary Sign on:    Following brief interruption of programming (i.e. a no-show, etc.)

Temporary Sign off:   Prior to brief interruption of programming

 

      The station is NEVER, EVER to be left unattended with the transmitter active.

 

 

3.16 EAS Policy

      WNTH participates in the Emergency Alert System (EAS) as required by the FCC.

      All operators are REQUIRED to follow EAS procedures as set forth by WNTH, the FCC, and local, state, and national emergency authorities, regardless of inconvenience, which may require brief interruptions in programming.

      Upon receipt of a test message, it must be transmitted as indicated in the training manual within 15 minutes.  If a staff member fails to do that, the system will interrupt programming and transmit automatically.

      If there is an interruption due to the EAS, the operator must note this on the operation log.

      Tampering with or attempting to halt the operation of the EAS system is prohibited.

 

3.17 Obscene and Indecent Material Policy

      On air personnel will be responsible for any material broadcast during their broadcast shift or while they are responsible for the station transmitter.

      FCC policy allows each community to set broadcasting decency standards. As an educational station serving the New Trier community, WNTH is conservative in regards to broadcast content.

      Absolutely no obscenities, racial or ethnic slurs, offensive comments, personal attacks, or material advocating violence is allowed on the air.  

      Ignorance of the content of particular pre-recorded material is no excuse for the broadcast of inappropriate material.

      When in doubt, do not say or play questionable material until you have cleared it with the station manager, programming director, or a sponsor.

 

3.18 Proficiency

      All WNTH members must demonstrate proficiency in the operation of the station and show knowledge of FCC regulations.

      This will include a week long training session which each DJ must attend and pass.

      Failure to demonstrate required proficiency may call for remedial training and, if needed, suspensions from staff until standards have been met.

 

3.19 The Role of the Sponsors

      Sponsors are directed by the district to supervise and advise the entire WNTH staff and approve all station activities.  Therefore, any and all decisions affecting the efficient and responsible operation of WNTH radio and its staff are subject to final review and approval by the WNTH faculty sponsors.

      The faculty sponsors (in conjunction with the WNTH Board) will decide any issue not addressed in this document

 

3.20 Sponsor Intervention

      The following actions may be subject to review and reprimand by the sponsors, as deemed appropriate by the sponsors:

A. Acts of violence in the station or during station activities.

B. Unauthorized removal of station property or the property of staff members from the station or in an area where station activities take place.

C. Destruction or defacement of station property or the property of WNTH staff members.

 

D. Violations of Federal Communications Commission or WNTH rules and regulations.

E. Acts of verbal or other harassment by any staff member on or off the air.

 

3.21 Appeal Policy

      Following a warning or suspension, a student has up to two weeks after the date of the reprimand and assignment of consequences to request an appeal.  Students may appeal decisions made by the Discipline Committee with the following procedure:

      Students requesting an appeal session must write a letter of request to the WNTH head sponsor.  The letter should include the student’s adviser, free periods, and a reason for the appeal.

      Efforts shall be made to hear all appeals in a timely manner.

 

B. Appeal Session Procedure:

      The Head Sponsor will present the violation(s) to the student, ask questions, and present any information relevant to the original reprimands as the representative of the Board.

      The reprimanded student will have an opportunity to address the violation(s), ask questions and present any information relevant to the original reprimand.

      As with most official station business, all appeal activities are confidential and should not be discussed outside official meetings. 

 

3.22 Additional Issues

      Do not touch the soundproof foam.  If you damage the foam in any way, shape, or form, we will fine you $100.

      Destruction or defacement of station property or the property of WNTH staff members, as well as theft of such property will require that the staff member pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacement of such property as determined by the Chief Engineer, Station Manager, and sponsors.

      Violations of FCC regulations that resolve in FCC fines will require that the staff member(s) responsible pay 100% of such fines.

 

3.23 Emergency Procedures

      Your safety is of paramount importance.  Additionally, we ask you to safeguard the station in any way possible.

      If there is a fire in the station, turn the transmitter and equipment off (if you can); pull the fire alarm in the station lobby, and LEAVE.

      If there is a fire elsewhere in the school, turn the transmitter off and leave.

      If there is someone outside the station that is threatening you, contact a paraprofessional or the police as soon as possible.  Tell them where you are and what the situation is.

      If there is someone inside the station that is threatening to you, ask him/her to leave.  If he/she does not leave, turn the transmitter off (if you can), and LEAVE.  Call a paraprofessional or the police as soon as you are in a safe place.

      There is a list of emergency numbers below.  One is also in the station at all times.

 

3.24 Entrance to WNTH Radio

      If you cannot get into the station:

A. Attempt to call up to the control room (835-9684)

B. Get a Physical Plant Service person to let you into the station.  The office is located on the first floor next to the elevator.  If that does not work, go to the door located at the back of the 20-40s hallway and ring the doorbell.  It might take them a while to respond to you, be patient!

 

3.25 Contact numbers

      Emergency                                    9-911

      WNTH Control Room:                 835-9684

      WNTH Office:                              446-7000 x2322

      WNTH Fax:                                  501-6400

      In-School extensions:

Ms. Awlasewicz                           6890

Ms. Bell                                        2290

Physical Plant Services                 2072

To dial an outside local number from the station, you must dial 8 first.

To dial an in-school extension, just select a line, and dial the extension.

This sheet should be turned in no later than one week before your first broadcast.

 

 

 

I have read the WNTH Bylaws in their entirety. 

 

I agree to follow the WNTH Bylaws and Policies.

 

I understand that failure to adhere to these Bylaws and Policies may lead to my suspension or removal from the WNTH.

 

 

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Student Signature                                          Date

 

 

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Parent Signature                                            Date