The student weekly of St. Olaf | Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | Subscribe
ISSUE 118 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/15/2004

SaveWCAL stays strong

By Emelie Heltsley
Staff Writer
and Jean Mullins
Executive Editor

Friday, October 15, 2004

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) draws closer to making a decision about the summer sale of 89.3 FM WCAL to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), SaveWCAL and Students for WCAL have redoubled their efforts to gain supporters and inform the public of its belief that the radio station was sold unjustly, without consulting students or alumni.

On Oct. 4, SaveWCAL filed an official complaint against the WCAL sale with the FCC. The parties involved in the sale now have 30 days to respond to the complaint.

"We are still waiting for St. Olaf and MPR to file an official response," said Ben Henry-Moreland `07, one of the leaders of Students for WCAL.

The complaint will give SaveWCAL more time to gain supporters and to spread the word around the St. Olaf student body and wider community about its mission. "It gives us breathing room," Henry-Moreland said.

During Homecoming and Family weekend, SaveWCAL increased its visibility on campus through tabling outside the cafeteria and the sale of bright yellow T-shirts.

SaveWCAL's presence throughout the Homecoming festivities generated a favorable response from alumni, community members and parents. Last weekend alone, 75 students added their names to the petition, which totals student supporters at approximately 375, more than 10 percent of the student body.

Over 150 community members, parents and alumni also signed the petition on Homecoming weekend.

The petition, which urges St. Olaf to cancel the sale of the station and maintain ownership of WCAL, totaled 4357 signatures as of Oct. 12.

A meeting between a sub-committee of the Board of Regents and SaveWCAL is scheduled to hear the concerns of SaveWCAL members. SaveWCAL has proposed an alternative to the sale, which it will bring before the Board at an upcoming meeting, yet to be announced.

In its proposal, SaveWCAL promises to raise $6 million over the next two years, and $500,000 each year after that until it reaches a total of $10 million, the selling price of WCAL. This proposal requires that St. Olaf retain ownership of the radio station, canceling the sale to MPR.

SaveWCAL's plans to raise the money are not finalized; however, the members plan to appeal to listeners and friends of the college for donations.

Students for WCAL approached Student Senate at the beginning of the school year, and asked for student Senate's backing in its effort to stop the sale of WCAL to MPR. A resolution expressing the student body's disapproval of the sale was officially brought to the Senate by Elizabeth Henke '05, head of the Review and Planning Committee yesterday. Senate members voted on the resolution Thursday, but the result was not available at press time.

"I encourage students to talk to their senators," said John Hensel '05, student representative for the Board of Regents. "This decision will speak for all students."

Janna Holm '07, a member of Students for WCAL, echoed the need for student interest. "Support has been really good so far, but with more student involvement, it could be even better," she said.

Hensel added that, of the students with whom he has communicated, support for saving the radio station has been a minority position. He said that more students are aware of and against the sale since the beginning of the school year, "mostly because of the efforts of SaveWCAL." However, the majority of students he has talked to are either indifferent to or supportive of the sale, he said.

Holm, however, said she has noticed "a good mix on campus between people who don't know about the sale, and people who don't support it."

For now, Save WCAL and Students for WCAL have to wait for the decisions from both the Board of Regents and Student Senate.

Printer Friendly version of this page Printer friendly version | E-mail a Copy of the Article to a Friend Email this | Write the editors | More articles by Emelie Heltsley

Related Links

More Stories

Page Load: 47 milliseconds