The staff of Northeastern Illinois University’s student-run WZRD radio station (88.3 FM) resumed broadcasting last weekend, more than six months after the NEIU administration locked them out.
The university has apparently backed down on a list of complaints described in this Reader story by Leor Galil, and subsequent demands, including a particularly troubling call for an off-air staff “civility code.” The university did not return calls about the station today.
WZRD is known for its genre-free music programming and the on-air anonymity of its DJs.
Wizard student group secretary Peter Enger says it’s their understanding that the university “has agreed that it had no grounds for shutting them out in the first place, and that there would be no preconditions for letting them take it over again.” On January 3, at the last of a series of recent meetings with University administrators, Enger said, “They basically said, just give us a list of who you want to have access.”
And here’s an important bonus, Enger said: the University also “agreed to allow alumni to participate,” something the Wizards have been fighting to achieve for four years now.
“That means we can run a station that serves the community, rather than the narrow vision of serving only the students of NEIU,” Enger said. “With the alumni back, we can do a lot more production, a lot more news and information. We have big, big plans.”
AAUP editor John Wilson provides a comprehensive discussion of the student rights that were at issue in the lockout in a series of posts at his Academe blog.