To whom it may concern:
I’m a UAlbany alum and local resident with strong ties to WCDB Albany. I was a station member as a student in the 1990s, and I have served as a community member DJ since mid-2010.
I also worked for UAlbany’s University Auxiliary Services in 2010, as assistant director of communications; during my stint, I helped to implement a number of well-received campuswide student involvement campaigns. Quite a bit of that UAS programming – and this remains the case, I’m told – relied on the WCDB staff for technical a/v assistance, equipment, promotion and manpower.
I’ve heard that a DJ recently broke station policy and let seven non-station-staff UAlbany students into the WCDB offices, where they were caught smoking marijuana. This is unfortunate; I can say from experience that student DJs take their responsibilities very seriously, and this sort of thing is not and has never been part of the WCDB culture. It’s music that intoxicates us… we’ve always left the drinking and drugging to fraternities, sororities, kegs-and-eggers, the SA board, and the UAlbany students who inevitably imbibe at every Dippikill retreat, Fountain Day, Fallfest and Parkfest. Anyway, I’m glad this one student has been permanently removed from the radio station roster, and that he and his friends are now in the process of being duly punished by the proper authorities.
However, I’ve also heard that something called an office of “Student Success” (did this even exist in the ’90s?) has begun investigating WCDB’s FCC license terms and organizational status. This is troubling. An awful lot of people are being penalized – the current station staff, which includes about 100 students (well, about 99 students now); WCDB’s base of local listeners; and the sizable contingent of UAlbany alumni (34 years’ worth) who maintain a keen interest in the station’s well-being – for the actions of one UAlbany student who happened to be a DJ, and seven others who were not.
In the past year, I’ve proudly watched the current WCDB staff grow to include enough students to broadcast around the clock, as we did in the 1990s, and as generations of DJs did for almost two decades before us. A radio station is to an extent a public trust, and this year’s administration has been an exceptional group of custodians. But now I’m hearing that WCDB DJs will not be allowed into the Campus Center to broadcast overnight (2:00am-7:30am Monday through Saturday and 10pm-7:30am Sunday) for perhaps the first time in the station’s history. That seems more than a bit draconian.
Is this really to be the case? And on what basis?
I hope someone from the university administration will respond here, allay my worries and tell me this is just procedural, due diligence to cover UAlbany as the University answers questions about the criminal behavior of eight of its students (who, I’m sure, could just as easily have been caught smoking weed in the dorms, or frankly just about anyplace on campus day or night), and everything will be back to normal soon.
Or is this development something that should concern the community and our alumni?