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OFF AIR: With Disabled Studio Equipment, WLIUBK Radio Fighting To Signal A Return

By: Nathalie Meyers, Staff Writer

For executives and members of the student-run WLIUBK Radio, the studio located on the second floor club area in the Sloan building in room S227 has yet to be the lively area it once was.

Unfortunately, dust is now gathering on its expensive studio broadcasting equipment.

Yet, Frantz Gedeon, the current general manager of WLIUBK who is in his senior year, does not want to leave the station without being able to get it back up and running. But, he is concerned that he might not be able to.

PC: Nathalie Meyers

For two years, the station has been down due to a series of technical problems. Last year, the station’s air conditioner broke down, which damaged a majority of their equipment like microphones, headsets, and recording devices. This happened over the summer, when it overheated due to lack of circulation in the radio booths.

This is equipment, WLIUBK Radio says, that a technician easily could have fixed. But, when the station went to hire one, Gedeon adds, campus administration sent an employee from the IT department instead.

“If it’s not Ctrl-Alt Delete, they can’t do it,” he says of IT.” “IT says, ‘No we can’t do it’ and [campus administration] is just sitting on their butts.

They waited [all] of last semester to tell us that there is a process, but still nothing has been done.”

But campus officials insist that they have been working to get the issues addressed. “There is definitely a commitment to get whatever they needed fixed, fixed. And so, I know I have spoken to WLIUBK Radio about how we do that…. so that we can get the right people in to diagnose the right problems,” said Anna Zinko, senior director of Student Life and Residence Life.

“It is really specialized equipment and there are certain things that we need to bring in outside expertise for. But that is dependent on if the students let us know what the specific issues are… ultimately we wait for the students to tell us what their needs are.”

The Loss Of An Audience

Denzel Noreiga, the general staff representative for WLIUBK Radio starting this fall semester, says the shutdown of WLIUBK has been a major loss for the campus, “We have three media organization on campus, the TV [station], [WLIUBK Radio], and Seawanhaka.

PC: Nathalie Meyers

“We are the mediums, or the voice on campus [so] every time that something goes on, we are the voice that tells the students what is happening,” says Noreiga.

WLIUBK Radio has been away for so long, Gedeon says that he’s heard from students who have wondered whether there’s a deliberate effort to keep the station off the air.

“Would you blame us if we thought like that?” he asks.

“Maybe they [campus administration] don’t want us to function and they want to keep us down. It kinda sounds like it.”

For WLIUBK Radio, being off the air could not have come at a worse time. Gedeon says that before the station went down, they were planning to bring a new level of focus and programs. “We were going to make it work,” he says.

However, a power outage that hit the entire building at the end of last summer also hurt their plans. “We can’t record or turn anything on,” he said.

“[The outage] fried all of our circuits and systems. We have nothing.” But Campus Life officials explain that they were not aware of the scope of the problem.

“There were a few outlets that didn’t have power. But my understanding is that it has since been corrected. If there is an issue now, I can’t necessarily say what caused it. But I can say that we want to fix it.”

Trying To Stay on The Radar

While WLIUBK Radio isn’t broadcasting, it has been trying to stay visible on campus.

“The radio station is basically responsible for all sound on campus” says Noreiga.

Using equipment, like turntables and speakers, that aren’t damaged, the radio has been providing music for the campus events like campus life events; pep rallies, SGA parties, but none of those events are a guarantee for the station.

In response, Zinko says, “We don’t require student organizations to utilize the radio station.

PC: Nathalie Meyers

That is an option for them. But if they want to hire a DJ with their budget, we will allow them to do so.” She goes on to say, “We always want to see collaboration.

Those are things that we want to see so we would encourage groups to use the radio station when possible, but it is not a requirement.”

According to Gedeon, WLIUBK Radio has been running for at least 40 years. He added that it’s not unusual for past members to drop in and “reminisce about the good old days.”

Gedeon notes that, “the three things we need to worry about are that people transfer, people graduate, people forget.”

The general manager adds that if he has his way, WLIUBK Radio will eventually be up and running again. And then they will not have to worry about people forgetting.



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Category: News, Student Life