For a minute there, it looked like there might be a workable alternative to cutting the number of community (or non-affiliate) DJs at WRVU in half and limiting the number of community DJs to 25 per semester. But the Vanderbilt Student Communications board has met and decided to uphold its original decision. In an email to the authors of a counterproposal that was presented to the VSC board, Vanderbilt professor Kevin Leander, chair of the VSC board (and the sole dissenter in the original vote), had this to say:
Thank you for submitting a counterproposal regarding the VSC Boards [sic] recent policy decision regarding the number of non-affiliate DJs on the air with WRVU. As a Board, all of us sincerely appreciated the thought and effort of the counterproposal. We considered your proposal carefully, discussing it and related issues during our entire (90 minute) meeting on November 30th. However, the Board has decided that it is in the best interests of WRVU to keep our current policy regarding the limits of non-affiliate DJ numbers.
The cap will go into effect spring semester and continue through summer 2010--a time when few students are on campus, and the community DJ cap will be most noticeable. Get ready for a lot of DJ Hal.
In passing on the news to the WRVU listserv, the station's student general manager Mikil Taylor expressed his disappointment in the latest decision:
I know this isn't what a lot of you (myself included) wanted to see happen, but happen it did. So, we have to work under the 25 community DJ limit for the next two semesters, at which point we will hopefully have compelling evidence to change the policy to something that will work better.
Taylor drew flak (to put it nicely) for bringing the cap proposal to the board in the first place, but said after the community DJ meeting--which was attended by Leander and other board members--that he "did not handle the entire situation as I should have." He said he was determined to "make things right," which indicated to me that he no longer believed a hard 25-DJ cap was the right thing to do. So it's a little hard to digest that the board as a whole didn't have a similar change of heart, considering that the person who brought this whole cap up in the first place had come to see the issue differently.
As I wrote in my City Limits story last week, and which you probably know already if you read this blog, people were plenty pissed when the cap was first announced. (Something about "generally sucking balls.") But after going to the community DJ meeting, I really felt like there would be at least some alteration to the policy. Even though the atmosphere was tense at times, by the end it seemed like a real dialog had opened up and that there was some momentum toward at the very least re-working the policy to allow more flexibility and treat each of the semesters differently. Looks like I was wrong.
Who knows what long-term effect forcing community shows off the air will have--even if the policy is loosened for fall 2011, will community DJs come back after so much time has passed?