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Students Hold Wake for KUSF

USF Student at the KUSF Wake

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 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.

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4 Responses to Students Hold Wake for KUSF

  1. Scott Hayes March 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Great to see the students making their opinions known in such creative ways. Stephen Privett is a sanctimonious churl for not meeting with them.

  2. Realist March 28, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    As if punk rock, gangster rap and other so-called “music” appealing to the criminal element and other undesirables is better than the only real art music–the MUSIC OF THE MASTERS played by properly-trained musicians. I am glad that Fr. Privett is supporting art instead of the continuing dumbing down of America.

  3. Dennis The Menace March 28, 2011 at 11:36 am #


    Are you SERIOUS? Or are you just DUMB?

    In addition to the un-properly trained musicians, KUSF had classical music programming and other cultural shows that made KDFC seem like pre-chewed Bazooka Bubblegum.

    BTW: At least 52.5% of the rock musicians I have interviewed over 35 years in radio are cliassically trained.

    I’ve been in the radio business for 35 years and the only thing I can assume is that you are indeed a member of the Ku Klux Klan or related to Nixon in some way.

    Father Privette wouldn’t know art if someone shoved a Picasso up his ass.



  4. Music is for Everyone March 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Realist, you’re saying classically-trained musicians playing hundreds-of-years-old pieces composed by long-dead Western white men is the only worthwhile music? And everyone should listen and respond to, and value only one kind of music, the kind you happen to prefer? There is an amazing variety and virtuosity of available music out there because people’s tastes vary. It’s the same reason pizzas come with a choice of toppings, or that books are written in various genres.

    Further, your gross generalization that listeners of punk rock and rap are comprised of “the criminal element and other undesirables” is extremely classist, perhaps racist, and empirically wrong. I’m going to bet that the worst, most society-destroying criminals in the contemporary US –- among them Bernie Madoff, The Keating Five, Lloyd Blankfein, Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Tom Delay — were not big fans of either genre. As the largest consumers of rap music are white, suburban teenagers, by your thinking are they all to be considered criminals?

    In both areas, some education would not only reward an intellectual curiosity but would also avert the “dumbing down” your comment shows.

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