Student Involvement Still Strong After KUSF Sale

As many students know, the Federal Communications Commission approved the University of San Francisco sale of KUSF radio in June to the University of Southern California. This sale gave USF $3.75 million.

In spite of the sale, there is an estimate of 150 to 250 students filling out applications trying to get involved with the station. Bailey Onaga, a senior double major in fine arts and Japanese studies, said that she is most excited about KUSF being primarily student-run as well. “Whether you’re into The Smiths, Frank Zappa, polka, or whatever, we welcome students of all music tastes. The more diverse, the better.”

Who’s the FCC?- The Federal Communications Commission has the power to regulate frequency, power program content, and location in all 50 states, The District of Columbia and U.S. territories

Currently, KUSF is planning to be operated as an online only station very soon. Miranda Moore, coordinator of KUSF, said that the online streaming should be up and running on KUSF.org in the next couple of weeks.

The broadcast studio has been moved to Cowell 416. Originally the studio was located in Phelan Hall, and had been there broadcasting for over 35 years. According to Steve Runyon, KUSF general manager, the station has been streaming online since the 1990s.
In terms of the sale, Moore is very optimistic. “We definitely had to realize that the university made the decision and at the end of the day, I felt very strongly that I wanted to students to have some kind of station regardless if its online only,” she said.

Some of the positives Miranda mentioned for an online only radio is that there are no FCC regulations, and she feels that it would be less intimidating for students to get involved. “ A lot of students are hesitant to broadcast in front of 30,000 people but maybe broadcasting to 30-50 people isn’t so intimidating.”

Showing KUSF’s awards displayed in the office, Runyon said it has been frustrating going through the sale process. “KUSF was considered probably generally the best college radio station that ever existed. Awards from Schwarzenegger and the California Board of Supervisors…we had so much external recognition but that didn’t seem to matter when it came to being able to turn it into cold hard cash,” he said.

Runyon also said that he is moving forward with the sale, despite all the changes KUSF had to go through. “In May of 2011, our entire facility was torn out and most of it thrown into a dumpster, because in Phelan, they were renovating the floor,” he said.
At that point KUSF was offered a seminar room. According to Runyon, the university pulled the plug on financing KUSF, so there was no money to make any developments and progress.
After receiving enough funding from the university, Runyon said KUSF was able to rebuild their studio and has been moving forward to adapt to the changes.
“It’s progressing from the standpoint of getting students interested into a student station, which is what Father Privett wants. Hopefully it will work out for us, but it really depends on the interest of the students,” he said.

Moore emphasized that the important part with having great student involvement is having partnerships within the community.

In the next few years, KUSF will focus on working with students in the studio and getting professors involved in hosting radio shows. So far, members of University Ministry have already reached out to working with the station, according to Moore. She hopes KUSF will be able to partner with the athletics department in the future.

“We have been really excited with the possibilities of all the positive community building KUSF could be a part of within USF’s community while exposing others to new music, USF academic and culturally enriching lectures, sports…and so much more,” Moore said.

Onaga also shared the same difficulties in accepting the sale, but is looking forward to KUSF’s future. “At first it was difficult coming to terms with the sale, but now enough time has passed so I am able to see this as an exciting new beginning. KUSF will never be 90.3, but I’m really positive for KUSF.org and am grateful for the experiences I’ve had.”

Interested in Joining KUSF? Contact Miranda Moore at mrmorris@usfca.edu

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