For those who are a die-hard fan of musicians like Metallica, Depeche Mode, or Devendra Banhart, they can thank KUSF for igniting that spark.
According to the San Francisco college radio station, KUSF gave a hand in exposing many unknown bands to the radio world.
Though KUSF has launched many successful student musicians like Ty Segall and J Boogie, and “provided valuable academic and job training opportunities for students,” the sale of the station’s frequency continues and KUSF’s fate lies in the hands of the Federal Commissions Committee (FCC).
While the sale of KUSF’s frequency is surrounded with feelings of betrayal and disappointment, students and staff members of the station gathered in Harney Plaza for the KUSF LIVE(S) event on April 14 to spread the word about the station and hopefully recruit more students to run the now online-only program.
KUSF advertising and marketing coordinator Miranda Morris said, “Through this event, we’re hopeful to reach students who didn’t know about KUSF, especially freshmen students.”
With free pizza, station merchandise and live bands like the Ghost Town Refugees, the event hardly went unnoticed. Students showed their support for the radio station, donning bright white T-shirts with the words “SAVE KUSF” and “UNFAIR” in eye-catching, bold letters. Many passers-by picked up a shirt to wear over what they were already wearing.
“The event’s message is strong,” said junior music major Chris Braun. “It shows the administration we can organize positively against them instead of just sending everyone e-mails.”
While previous KUSF events for awareness were surrounded with formality, KUSF LIVE(S) was meant to be more easygoing and casual, according to Morris. “We are bringing music back and letting the kids have a good time. We’re trying to show they do care…They put on this event in the middle of the semester.”
News of 90.3’s sale has been circulating since January, but the student force is persevering and hopeful. Senior Media Studies student and Ghost Town Refugee member Chet Bentley said, “I really feel the spirit of KUSF. It’s important to people, and I’m glad that I was able to bring music to the people.” Various KUSF student DJs agreed that the event would help engage the student population in the midst of the sale.
The entirely “student-driven initiative” drew in a mixed crowd of students, alumni and community members, some of whom were previous KUSF DJs. Amid the relaxed ambiance of the event, students, DJs, and band members promoted the preservation of a “valuable resource for San Francisco and USF students.”
Panels in the shape of headstones were set up to give students more information about KUSF-KDFC sale. KDFC is a University of Southern California-based radio station.
Three months after the sale, many students still feel strongly about the sale of the 90.3 airwaves, which occurred in January. “The sale was done in a shady manner,” said USF student John Dizon. “The student organization is powerful and the station was suddenly taken away from them. The administration could have gone through with the deal in a better manner, or not at all.”
Student DJ Conor Crockford said, “The sale was appalling. The administration is doing incompetent work. Just look at what’s going on with the ‘homeless’ freshmen.”
Although some students express concern and support for the radio station, other students like sophomore Chelsea Sundiang feel otherwise.
She said, “I know KUSF got sold, but what can we do about it? It’s at a point where it’s a lost cause.”
Looking out into the scattered groups of people she added, “People who are here watching are the only ones who are passionate about [the station], but the number of people is not enough to save KUSF. The station was cut off without notification. If the school was able to do that, imagine how hard it would be to get it back.”
While the station awaits news of the sale from the FCC, KUSF’s drive to sustain noncommercial, college radio remains strong. “All of this is a communal effort to keep the station running. We’re all about the music,” said Morris. The station continues to broadcast in an online-only format.
Looking back at KUSF LIVE(S), Media Studies professor Dorothy Kidd agrees the event shed some light to students not privy to the loss of one of the University’s greatest media assets. She said, “Music is the soundtrack of your generation.”
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