Divided We Fall

Sharon Vegas Selby, who is leading the fight in Music City to convince Vanderbilt to hang on to radio station WRVU, posted this letter from one of the station alumni about the sale of KUSF in San Francisco, an eloquent testament to the move afoot to combine forces in college radio against the major consolidators in noncomm radio:

Sharon Scott, WRVU Alumni Association
Submitted: 02.25.11

Ms. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
445 Twelfth Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Dear Ms. Dortch & Commissioners,

I am writing in opposition of the assignment of the license for 90.3 FM from the University of San Francisco to University of Southern California.

I am a former DJ and General Manager of radio station WRVU 91.1 FM Nashville, “The Student Voice of Vanderbilt University.” Despite the many exceptional opportunities provided by my alma mater, managing a federally licensed radio station was the single-most educational portion of my experience at Vanderbilt.

It is my belief that student-run radio stations, unconstrained by financial, political, or religious demands, are the very core of a liberated society. Just as Democracy depends upon free speech, free speech depends on open avenues of communication.

For the sake of the students who have built and maintained KUSF for over 30 years, the people of San Francisco who benefit from the quality local programming this station has consistently provided, and the citizens of the United States whose very freedom depends on accessible public media, I ask you to deny the transfer of the WUSF license.

Further, as an alumnus of another FM college station that is currently in jeopardy, I ask you to consider new FCC legislation that will protect the local radio legacies that have been built by America’s students through many generations of hard work. It is my hope that the frequencies currently owned by colleges across the United States could be specifically re-designated for local educational broadcasting. Religious programming and the simulcast of distant non-commercial outlets simply is not the same. It is hard for college stations to compete with the financial resourses of these national conglomerates.

If the current trend continues, college radio is facing certain extinction.

In the name of our forefathers and the institutions of Free Speech they compel us to defend, I urge you to use your power as an FCC Commissioner to bring this crisis on America’s campuses to an end.

Submitted by:
Sharon M. Scott, author
Louisville, Kentucky


One Response

  1. Wonderful letter! And a big hats off to the Sharons, both Selby & Scott. Sharon Selby has been doing a bang-up job over at her Facebook site College Radio United (see link, right hand side). Alumni usually have a good amount of leverage at their old schools, having them involved adds another front to the battle to keep these stations open and uncensored.

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