WZRD is a club for the students and run by the students. It is a learning place for music lovers and sound hobbyists alike. Taking it away is like denying someone the rights to a class. It is funded by Student Activity fees, which every student pays, and gives us the right to participate in the clubs of our choice. It is a contractual relationship. WZRD is also more than just something for the students on campus. It's a cultural icon in Chicago history. Our record collection spans decades of music and our station shows the history and growth of society's generations.
For close to 40 years, WZRD radio station has been a staple of the local underground music scene in Chicago. The station has prided itself on playing an eclectic selection of music not usually heard anywhere else. This style is called freeform radio, and there are no limits or boundaries on what genres can be played, as long as they open people up to new music tastes (thus you won't hear any Top 40 on WZRD).
The student DJ's who run WZRD have a strong desire to inform the local community, as well as people listening to the stream online, about current social issues. Being a non-profit station, WZRD DJ's do not advertise for corporations but discuss educational topics for the benefit of the community. For almost 40 years, WZRD has acted as an outlet for people who had nowhere else to share their stories and voice their opinions. A wide and varied range of union workers, professors, scientists, musicians, and many more have spoken on air to our listeners.Apparently, the Northeastern Illinois University administration doesn't approve of an eclectic taste of music and doesn't care to hear any of our opinions on big business or corporations.
On June 29th, after months of harassment by our Media Advisor, a staff position in the bureaucracy of Northeastern Illinois University, we the DJs were called into an impromptu meeting without even 24 hours notice. There we were handed a memo stating slanderous yet vague accusations towards our club. Instead of working with the students to figure out a solution to the problems addressed, the Office of Student Leadership Development brought campus security as a threat to anyone who wanted to record what was going on. For the entire summer, our club has been deactivated and every member of WZRD has been locked out of the station.
Volunteer DJ's who used to have weekly shows and a station to keep up have been meeting to discuss how to get back on the air. We have met with the Student Government Association, the Council of Clubs, and the Vice President of Student Affairs, none of whom have been helpful nor have seemed genuinely concerned about what is going on in their own school. Adding further insult, a skeleton team of students have been hand selected to run daily operations inside WZRD while we, paying students as well, are left in the dark about what is going on.
For almost four decades WZRD has served as a voice for the community. Now we need your voice.
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