October 12, 2011

WVKC studio gets makeover

Bunny ears, peace signs and Homer Simpson can no longer be found at 90.7 WVKC.

Early this month, an executive decision was made to remove all the chalk drawings and writings from the walls of the radio station.

“The entire staff all agreed that we didn’t like it,” Co-General Manager and Public Relations Executive senior Maggie Linck said. “Since it was also the 50th anniversary of the station being in the space that it is, we just wanted it to be nicer.”

After their first appearance during winter term 2011, the chalk drawings and writings steadily increased in number, almost entirely covering the blue walls of the radio station. Although it seemed that this could become a new tradition at Knox, matters got a little out of hand.

“Some things were inappropriate, some things just didn’t make sense. It was a mixture of stuff and it started to look really unprofessional. It made the station feel less like the station and more like a mess,” Co-General Manager senior Miya Pleines said. In the hopes of restoring an appropriate ambience, posters and albums have been hung on the walls.

These new accessories should have also served the purpose of deterring new chalk additions, but a few days after the walls were cleared, more writings surfaced. They were quickly removed, but some DJs are still in disagreement with the new, strictly enforced policy of keeping the walls clear.

“The posters are cool, but I do think that the chalk had a certain ambience to it. I thought it was the best thing to listen to music and go into the lobby area and read what everybody was writing,” sophomore DJ Annaliese Lengerich said. “The chalk is Knox.”

Some believe that the drawings and writings only added to the station.

“It was a free expression,” sophomore DJ Alex Domasik said. “It was a low destruction level of art.”

Others, however, prefer the newly cleared walls.

“It was a WVKC tradition to write on the walls, but now I’m actually growing to like it. It’s a lot more classy, it’s a lot cleaner,” sophomore DJ Ashley Wolfgang said.

While the chalk did have a good run, the main concern is that the radio station be respected and used for its intended purposes.

“People take it for granted a lot of times. They take the space for granted, they take the privilege of being a DJ for granted, and they use it as a place to go have fun and party. It’s not there for that,” Pleines said.

Instead, the radio station is meant to serve as a way for students and members of the Galesburg community to express themselves.

“We’re so open. It’s free format radio. We follow FCC guidelines, but compared to other college campus stations, we’re so different. You can literally do whatever you want,” Linck said.

DJs have historically taken advantage of the freedom granted during radio shows. Some play music for the entire hour, some report on the news, some do talk shows, and some read bedtime stories. This opportunity for self-expression will continue to be a Knox tradition even if the chalk drawings do not.

“The radio show is awesome, and no matter what they do, it’s always going to be good,” sophomore DJ Nora McGinn said.

Chelsea Embree
Chelsea Embree is a senior majoring in creative writing and minoring in art history. She previously served as co-mosaic editor and as an arts and features reporter for TKS. During the summer of 2013, she served as a content intern at The St. Louis Beacon. Chelsea has studied under former Random House copy chief Sean Mills and taught writing as a teaching assistant for First-Year Preceptorial. An avid blogger, she has written extensively about youth in St. Louis and maintains a lively poetry and nonfiction blog on Tumblr. She is also the director of communications for Mortar Board and co-president of Terpsichore Dance Collective.

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