Photos and story by Mikey Baratta
On Tuesday, February 8th 2011, the Board of Supervisors passed the proposed resolution to deny the sale of the Univeristy of San Francisco’s college radio station “KUSF” with a vote of 8-to-3. Supporters, activists, and pro-community radio enthusiasts gathered at the steps of City Hall once again in the hopes that the day’s decision would fall in their favor. Amongst those whom I met and spoke with was “DJ Schmeejay”, the man who was interrupted in the middle of his radio show at USF when he was told to go off the air without saying a word to his listening audience. When asked about the outcome of the Board’s decision to deny the sale of KUSF he responded by stating:
“Not the unanimous vote we were hoping for, but a major victory for our cause, for sure… These resolutions speak loudly for USF to pull away from this sale and repair the damage they’ve done to the community – which is substantial as they’re seeing more and more with these adamant voices from their colleagues and representatives and the rest of a disgruntled listenership.”
DJ Schmeejay is clearly not the only one who felt this way. At Tuesday’s rally I also met with Nykk Fell and Krystal Pheonix; the two hosted a radio show on Sundays from 1-2pm on KUSF entitled “Liquid Conspiracy”. When asked about the possible outcome of the day’s vote potentially falling in the community’s favor they responded by saying: “Even with today’s vote denying the sale of KUSF this will still not be a done deal yet.”
One of the most ironic and disappointing aspects to the demise of KUSF is its collection of vinyl records. Though currently lying dormant, KUSF is home to what may possibly be the most diverse, extensive record collection of any college radio station. Student Joshua Cobos ran the former broadcast entitled “Shred the Gnar” which he spun rare and beloved tracks of the collection. From Bad Brains, to Can, to obscure underground 80’s Metal 7 inches, Joshua went out of his way to pay homage to vinyl rarities and hard-to-finds. “The ironic thing is that USF is a hardcore Jesuit school who happens to have the largest collection of vinyl that includes everything from all genres including metal, punk and hardcore; if you’re looking for something on vinyl, KUSF will have it.”
The final fate of KUSF is still in question. DJ Schmeejay does not see the radio station being put back in the hands of USF students, but rather to form a coalition and buy back the airwaves to bring the voice of radio back in the community’s regulation. No plans or further steps have been made towards this goal, but one thing is certain – “KUSF” will not be under control by USF in the days to come. The fight to keep community radio in the hands of the community has been won.