As the battle over the future of college radio station KUSF continues, students at University of San Francisco (USF) expressed their displeasure over the proposed station sale by holding a wake on the lawn outside of a USF Board of Trustees meeting at noon today.
Mourning students dressed in black held forth in front of tomb stones emblazoned with the words KUSF and KUSF 90.3 FM scrawled in red paint.
The quiet, peaceful protest took place as an adjunct to a recently held teach-in. Students pointed out that they had not been given a meeting with USF President Stephen Privett, so it was important for them to express their sentiments about the station sale to the Board of Trustees in a “silent and dramatic” manner, according to sophomore Elizabeth Schweizer. It was hoped that board members would see the tombstones and protesters as they entered or left their meeting. Additionally, some students attempted to deliver materials related to the KUSF shut-down to the Board and were turned away by campus security.
The future of KUSF is in the hands of both the administration of USF and the FCC. Following the station shut-down on January 18, Classical Public Radio Network (CPRN) filed paperwork with the FCC in order to gain approval to purchase the station. That application to purchase KUSF has been with the FCC for about two months and was met with opposition by Friends of KUSF, who filed a Petition to Deny the transfer of ownership application on February 28th. In the meantime, USF/CPRN requested permission from the FCC to move the KUSF transmitter off-campus to a site north of San Francisco. That request was denied by the FCC and it looks like USF/CPRN will refile with different parameters. Save KUSF continues to work diligently to spread the word about the plight of the station. They’ve held numerous events, DJ nights, and co-presents and are also actively fundraising in order to pay for legal bills.
The students at the protest today have strong ties with KUSF as many of them were DJs prior to the shutdown and a few are continuing to do shows at KUSF.org or at the recently launched KUSF in Exile (link opens a live stream). Elizabeth told me that for her KUSF has been a “family tradition,” since not only was she a DJ, but her father has been on KUSF’s engineering staff for more than 33 years.
Complete Radio Survivor coverage about the proposed sale of KUSF can be found here. I also wrote about my reaction to the KUSF shut down and to the Save KUSF Multi-Station Live Broadcast on Spinning Indie. My article chronicling my KUSF field trip 2 years ago is housed there too. For more on the bigger picture of college radio station sell-offs, see my December 2009 piece “Cash-strapped Schools Turn Their Backs on College Radio“. And, for a quick overview of the situation at KUSF, see my article, “The Story Behind the KUSF Shutdown” on PopMatters.