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Re: UMass Radio

>Mike Thomas wrote:
>Not surprising.  WMUA has always been considered a "necessary evil" by the
>powers that be at UMASS.  The Administration has always looked at the
>Collegian, the various alumni periodicals and WFCR as the "campus media."  WMUA
>has historically been treated as a glorified club, despite the fact that it's
>one of the more highly-regarded student run college radio stations in the
>country.  Doing an "famous alumni" feature would put the station in higher
>stature, something the Administration hasn't wanted over the years.

        I agree with you, in a way. But I can tell you from experience that
once the students become alumni, the administration's attitude changes to
one of solicitousness, or should we say, solicitation. I just think the
magazine thing was in the category of, IMO, a mistake. The alumni office
has sponsored several WMUA reunions on campus in the past ten years or so,
and at least one "media" reunion for WMUA and the Collegian. So, they're
courting the alumni.

        On the administration vs. WMUA thing, in the old days WMUA got all
its funding from the student senate, using the student activity fee money,
so that was who needed to think it was important, not the administration.
As far as I know, funding nowadays is a combination of student senate and
underwriting/fundraising. In other words, it doesn't get any money from the
administration and never did, back at least into the '60s. Except power,
water and maybe phones--a little infrastructure. Same has always also been
true of the Collegian, although it, of course, has ads. In the early '70s,
when WMUA went from 10w to 1000w, the student senate allocated huge amounts
of money for the upgrade, which also involved going to stereo, so most of
the old studio equipment was replaced.

        The only point at which the administration has clout is the
facility, and I have a hazy third-hand half-story about that. Somewhere
around 1980ish, if I have it right, the station was evicted unceremoniously
and on very short notice from its original studio in Marston Hall, the old
engineering building. The dept. head or dean of engineering or whatever
suddenly decided that, after 30 years, they needed the space back for
offices or classrooms and WMUA should get out in, like, a month or two,

        The station actually had very limited operation from temporary
studios for a year or two before they got the place they have now in the
Campus Center. I found the story astounding. It certainly makes your point
of the administration not having any respect. I think the student
government and the radio station had to pay most of the expenses of
building the new studios. In other words, not only did the administration
throw them out like last week's trash, but WMUA was not made whole
financially for the loss of the old studios and the forced construction of
new.  Now I've got myself all riled up. Maybe we should go have a sit-down
demonstration outside Whitmore until they pay up :) What with Visa-card
style interest and substantial penalties for all those years, we could be
talking seven figures by now :))