In a statement today, Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) acknowledged that it is reviewing the student radio station WZRD and has decided to “temporarily place the student organization on inactive status” while it completes the renewal process for WZRD’s FCC license.
This response comes on the heels of news over the weekend that student DJs and leaders had been suspended from the station following a meeting between university officials and WZRD DJs and staff on Friday.
According to Northeastern Illinois University spokesperson Dana Navarro, a “lack of a unified approach to management of the station within the student organization informed the decision” to deactivate the campus club.
Navarro goes on to say that “the University community values having a student radio station on campus” and that the “Division of Student Affairs will work with student leaders and the University community on a process to review the WZRD student organization and to make recommendations for the future of the station.”
Although there are reports that WZRD is running on automation, Navarro says that the 100 watt FM station “continues to be operated by students.” I was not told which students have access to the station, but reports over the weekend indicated that WZRD staff members were locked out of the station.
To assuage fears about a permanent closure of WZRD, Navarro states that, “We look forward to working with the student organization to assure the long-term success of WZRD and the student organization.”
WZRD supporters met on Sunday, but I have yet to hear the outcome of that meeting.