The following is a release in its entirety from the supporters of WRVU in Nashville in response to the actions of the board, selling the student station to the NPR borg:
‘ADULTS’ of VSC CONTINUE TO BRING SHAME TO VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
Well, it ain’t Truthin’
One of the main purposes of this website is to simply archive all of the information surrounding the proposed VSC sale of WRVU that was announced September of last year with the goal of providing a full record so everyone can have access to the facts. For starters, it is critical to note that WRVU has long historically been a student-operated organization . . . until very recently. Until recently the VSC itself was nearly entirely run by the student heads of each of the represented media organizations (radio, print, tv, etc). What makes the recent events so galling to so many is that that under reconfigurations directed by Chris Carroll (Media Advisor), the VSC and the student controlled media groups have been hijacked by ‘adults.’ The VSC and their growing paid adult staff have strong-armed control away from the students and into the hands of a paid ‘professional’ (and expensive) staff who take on many of the day-to-day operation duties and, as such, important responsibilities.
A natural outcome of this ‘adult’ take-over of a student-run VSC is this agreed sale of WRVU, which you will notice has two and only two vocal proponents: Mark Wollaeger (VSC Chair) and Chris Carroll (Media Adviser). Other than the insipid comments of student Justin Tardiff, there has been little to no vocal support of this sale idea from ANYONE. Yet, against the avalanche of protests and complaints opposing the sale, Wollaegher and Carroll clearly had been actively conducting the sale, all the while, at the same time assuring concerned students that they would be informed about the whole process and be apprised about VSC’s consideration of other options. Numerous efforts in all manners have been attempted to get the VSC to provide more information, to answer direct questions, and to consider better options. Some of these attempts are included here in this site. The record shows that these attempts and student protests and concerns where routinely ignored by Carroll and Wollaeger — who, it turns out, are the only people whose opinion matters, evidently. WRVU staff members were repeatedly denied entrance to VSC meetings, direct questions were provided uselessly evasive answers, and letters were never answered.
By looking at the archived information included in this site you will continue to see how shameless Carroll and Wollaeger are in being deceptive. We are hesitant in calling it lyin’ but it sure as hell ain’t truthin’. Take the following quotes from Chris Carroll in the recent June 8 Student Press Law Center article:
For Carroll, though, the decision-making process has been ‘more open and public than any I’ve heard of before.’
‘We wanted just the opposite of secrecy,’ he said. ‘Anyone who asked [VSC] any questions was given an
answer. We could not have been more visible and accessible.’
Apart from a formal discussion with WRVU supporters at an October board meeting, Carroll said VSC has never been presented with any ‘legitimate’ feedback.
‘There were a lot of people who said ‘don’t take away my radio station,’ but there weren’t any who presented a viable solution,’ he said. ‘The reality is that, in nine months since our initial announcement, there have been no attempts to communicate with the board.’
Most attempts to advocate for WRVU, Carroll added, have been directed toward the university’s administration, which he said is not the legal license holder of the station.
Each sentence by Carroll above strays heavily from ‘truthin’.’
1) ‘more open and public than any I’ve heard of before.’
The glaring omission here, of course, is that the bar is set very low by the despicable way that college radio (see KTRU and WUSF) has been treated as of late. With the bar set so low, it is easy to show improvement, but, alas, Wollaeger and Carroll have found a way to trip over it.
By using ‘at least I am less evil than Hitler’ type logic you can say that that he and Wollaeger are indeed ‘more open and public’ than the public relations disasters that are the University’s actions in regard to KTRU and WUSF. The truth is though, that Wollaeger and Carroll employed the exact same deceptive methods as these shameful other examples, but with the added benefit adding a public doe-eyed hand-wringing made for public release. Bravo, Carroll.
2)’We wanted just the opposite of secrecy,’ he said. ‘Anyone who asked [VSC] any questions was given an answer. We could not have been more visible and accessible.’
There might be some truth to the above statement if you are grading on a heavy curve. Wollaeger and Carroll provided half-truths, promised follow-up that never came, and otherwise stonewalled any intelligent discourse. For starters, the following letter sent to Carroll never received acknowledgement much less a response. You can listen to Wollaeger provide a series of empty promises that were never followed up on here.
3) Apart from a formal discussion with WRVU supporters at an October board meeting, Carroll said VSC has never been presented with any “legitimate” feedback.
This is a bald assertion. The VSC has admitted that they have received well over 300 letters (a small sampling here) all against the sale of WRVU. The VSC received 2 letters (see Sept 27 and Oct 4 entries in Timeline) from alumni with combined over 136 years of WRVU dj experience and 28 combined years of student voting members of Vanderbilt Student Communications (VSC). A letter was sent to the VSC from 21 faculty members and deans of Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music as well (see here). Wollaeger and Carroll provided no acknowledgement of receipt and certainly no intelligent response. We also know that the VSC have received letters from internationally known titans of TV, radio, and print media who got their formative experience at WRVU that illustrated in letters the importance of WRVU very clearly, but the super geniuses at the VSC couldn’t be bothered. The arrogance and abusive attitudes of these ‘super-geniuses’ were even openly mocked in Vanderbilt’s humor magazine, The Slant (see here).
4) ‘There were a lot of people who said ‘don’t take away my radio station,’ but there weren’t any who presented a viable solution,’ he said. ‘The reality is that, in nine months since our initial announcement, there have been no attempts to communicate with the board.’
How is this for a viable solution?
We at SaveWRVU suspect that the real problem is the bloat associated with the growing paid VSC staff. We fear that an endowment created by the WRVU license sale would not assist with the operating costs of any of its member media organizations but, instead, will become a means of sustaining an ever-increasing professional (i.e., non-student) VSC staff. At 5% yearly return on this $3.35M sale price the VSC will receive $170k annually, which is less than the recent ‘adult’ bloat that just a few years was totally unnecessary as all these responsibilities were conducted by the students. You want a solutions? Revert the VSC and associated media groups back to the students and you will save more per year than you will gain from this wretched license sale and killing a treasured student organization.
5) Most attempts to advocate for WRVU, Carroll added, have been directed toward the university’s administration, which he said is not the legal license holder of the station.
Again, some truth to this. It became clear to anyone reasonable person that the VSC had their minds made up and held a contemptible position to the value of WRVU and its supporters. What is someone to do if they want their voice heard and find themselves being stonewalled by the VSC? They go to the administration. To say that Vanderbilt University has no say in this is also false. WRVU and the VSC is funded by student-paid activity fees. Vanderbilt remains the owner of WRVU and must sign-off on any transfer per FCC guidelines. WRVU stands for We aRe Vanderbilt University.