Since USF officials shuttered KUSF college radio last week, volunteers and students have come up with an organized campaign to wrestle back their beloved indie station, 90.3 FM.
They've garnered attention and support throughout the community with online petitions and a "Save KUSF" Facebook page with more than 6,000 members. They've even gone on local radio stations, blasting university officials for selling off the community radio station to a classical music network in a $3.75 million deal.
And the momentum is only increasing.
Tomorrow, students, alumni, and volunteers will hold a rally outside City Hall at 1 p.m., an hour before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors meets in session. Here, volunteers say they will have the chance to talk to people about how they are losing a local radio station, which started in 1977 and is known for its diverse programs in nine different languages.
Like everyone else, city supervisors have been getting emails and phone calls from KUSF advocates, asking for their help to block the sale. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who represents the district where University of San Francisco is located, last week attended the meeting where volunteers talked about ways to save the station. The supervisor was appalled at what was happening, and pledged his support to help KUSF.
Mirkarimi has crafted a resolution in support of the volunteers who are trying to keep 90.3 FM a community radio station. He will introduce the resolution at tomorrow's board hearing.
"I wish we could do more," Mirkarimi said. "This is another corporate slam against public access radio. It's a tragedy for USF to not consult the community and give it a chance to save the station before they sold it off."
Ultimately, what they want is to have a chance for the community to purchase the radio station, which has now been moved to an online format, said Irwin Swirnoff, a KUSF volunteer. Swirnoff pointed out that the Federal Communications Commission has not yet approved the sale, which gives volunteers more time to build their case to try and block the transaction.
"We are hoping to remind everyone that this is our station," Swirnoff said. "We deserve the right to have an open sale to the community so we can still own the transmitter."
USF abruptly closed the radio station last week and escorted student DJs out of the building. University officials then announced they would shift KUSF to an online format.
Student DJ Chad Heimann was initially ready to fight back, but now he's lost hope that KUSF will revert back to its FM dial.
So instead of attending Tuesday's rally, Heimann said he and many other student DJs will be preparing to for their shows at the new online station.
"It sucks, but we need to learn to accept it," Heimann said. "There is really nothing that can be done."
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