Fallout from the recent VSC board decision to limit the participation of community DJs at WRVU has officially begun: Yesterday, WRVU music directors Skye Bacus and Hugh Schlesinger announced to their colleagues that they have resigned their positions in protest of the cap. In an email, the two Vanderbilt students say, "In the face of the VSC Board's decision to ignore our own advice and opinions, as well as those of the majority of the E-Staff, we have realized that we are merely laborers who keep things running and feel no need to deceive ourselves with false titles."
Later in the email, Schlesigner says he fears "the likely endgame of the Board's recent actions is the complete elimination of Community volunteers from the station. " Of course, that sentiment runs in direct opposition to what Director of Student Media Chris Carroll told the Scene earlier this year, namely: "Nobody's getting rid of community DJs." So far, Schlesinger's theory appears to hold more weight. He doesn't stop there, though: "I think that the WRVU staff and Nashville community must make it clear to the VSC that we will not accept their recent decision or this possible endgame."
I don't know if that will rally troops to the cause or not, but the news of the resignation has certainly made an impression--one DJ who forwarded the email to the Scene prefaced it with one word: "wow." Another, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "If you ask me, Hugh and Skye are the ones who learned an actual lesson about student leadership from this whole mess." We'll see if there are more lessons to be learned, but the fact that Vanderbilt affiliates are stepping down to protest the removal of non-affiliates ought to tell you something.
Here's the complete letter:
As of Monday, Skye and I have resigned our positions as Music Directors at WRVU. We will continue to fulfill the duties of Music Directors until the end of semester, at which point a group of students we have been training will take over. At this point in time, it seems rather pointless for us to retain the title of Music Directors, a title that implies a level of managing authority and input into the station's operation. In the face of the VSC Board's decision to ignore our own advice and opinions, as well as those of the majority of the E-Staff, we have realized that we are merely laborers who keep things running and feel no need to deceive ourselves with false titles.
There isn't all that much to be said about the decision that has not already been voiced at this point. I (Hugh) would like to apologize to the entire staff for my own failure to input myself in the Board's decision making process and for not acting quickly enough to make a difference after receiving what information I had obtained about the Board's decision.
Also, I hope that the fight against this decision will continue. The VSC Board does not have the best interests of the station in mind when it decides and acts upon issues affecting WRVU. This is because to them the station is merely a tool to be used for some poorly defined form of undergraduate education, or more likely just a superlative for the school to show it has all the amenities of a "top institution". But this is not the vision that I have, or that I suspect most of you have, for the station.
I fear that the likely end game of the Board's recent actions is the complete elimination of Community volunteers from the station. For this reason, I think that the WRVU staff and Nashville community must make it clear to the VSC that we will not accept their recent decision or this possible endgame. As history shows us, the VSC does react to public pressure in regards to the operation of WRVU, and when they are making decisions as unwarranted, ill-considered, and harmful as the Community volunteer cap, the full weight of this pressure should be brought down upon them. With pressure, there is still a chance for a reversion of this decision and a reassertion of the authority of E-Staff, Staff, and others concerned with and involved in the station in the operation of WRVU.
Until that point, I wish you all luck in fighting the good fight.
Former Music Directors of WRVU