We initially attributed this decidedly unimpressive letter to the editor posted by student members of the VSC, as just another example of more VSC useless double-speak, and therefore thought that it be best ignored. It turns out, though, that through the comments to the letter, something of a interesting back-and-forth is happening between Justin Tardiff, the student VSC member, and students posting comments and questions to him. This is as close as anyone has gotten to getting a straight answer from the VSC and to actually provide real answers to direct questions.
Even though Justin’s responses are pretty much useless, it is still an improvement of the total non-response stance that is now expected from the VSC. It is worth checking in to read some of the responses in the comment section.
SOME EXCERPTS FROM COMMENTS...
you ever get the sinking feeling that students
who volunteer for leadership positions are only in it for
the resume padding and to be parrots for the men in
suits? shocking i know. [...] this is all looking like
SOMEONE ran out of money and is trying to get to
the pawn shop quick...
An online-only WRVU would be a sad joke. Nobody
takes online-only 'stations'--it would be more accurate
to say "music providers" or something equally bloodless
and generic--seriously. Every student I've talked to or
heard speak in meetings would be extremely disappointed
with a shift to online-only operation, and most of them
would not bother to continue with WRVU
Justin Tardiff says of VTV's possible move to high
definition equipment, 'Surely we want to provide students
with modern equipment that mirrors what they exists in the
real world.' Why, then, saddle students who are interested
in radio with a make-believe 'radio station' that only exists
on the Internet where it will be lost among thousands and
thousands of other audio streams? The real world still includes
radio and people are still interested in radio broadcasting--clearly,
or there wouldn't have been a record number of trainees last
Justin, it is impressive to see someone bloviate like a
true pro, especially in one so young. You manage to take a lot
of time masterfully not answering Phil's question.
There must be a VSC question-evasion bootcamp out there
Phil's concern, as is with everyone here, is what reasoning,
if any, is behind the sale. To date, you and the rest of of the
VSC have offered none. You mention protecting the future of
the VSC by destroying its largest anchor member? There
better be a better reason than HD-TV. [...]
'WRVU would not go away if the FM license were sold'
This line is present in the text of this letter. This is absolutely
not true, and it frightens me to think that the members of the
board believe this statement. WRVU ABSOLUTELY will go away
if the FM license is sold.
[...]We wouldn't have any issues with incorrect information
if VSC wasn't stonewalling everyone. We asked for you to release
your financials, your budget, and this sort of information, all
back in September, but you never did. Even now, you say I'm
making up facts, but you don't cite your own. You say my facts
are wrong about the cost of VTV, but you didn't mention the real
cost -- instead, you just told us, once again, that WRVU costs
$15,000 a year. You didn't give any numbers as far as student
involvement, etc. VSC is quite good at sidestepping any issue
which forces them to provide facts. Mr. Lepanto just asked you
a point blank question -- does VSC have any offers -- which only
requires a mere yes or no, but even then, you equivocate. Please
forgive me for reiterating, but this letter to the editor is purposeless;
it's almost exactly the same as September's press release. None
of the issues which WRVU supporters have raised have been addressed,
and no facts have been presented.[...]
OK, Justin. Instead of accusing people of making
up facts why don't you just give us the facts. What is
the VTV operating costs? If the VTV costs are similar
to the $15,000 for WRVU, then what on earth is using
the $900,000 budget? Maybe Orbis's platinum paper
clip budget should be reduced? Maybe The Torch should
stop using solid gold printers?
Of course, I am being facetious but people are understandably
VERY frustrated by lack of fact based reasoning and rigor from
the VSC and this letter is a sad continuation of the same. Surely
when you say that 'the VSC has invested 100s of hours to arrive
at this point', we expect more than vague generalities.[...]
[...]In previous communications to both VSC and
the VU administration, I have suggested a number
of ways to fund both WRVU and the other VSC outlets
as follows: 1. Make WRVU member supported. 30,000
listeners contributing an average of $10 per year = $300,000.
I think that estimate is very conservative. 2. Elimination of
2 of the paid VSC staff positions = $100,000 +/-. The salary
and staff bloat has been discussed at length. Put the student
back in student media. 3. More aggressive underwriting of
WRVU = $50,000 per year. I've been listening to 91.1 for over
25 years and remember when there was MUCH more underwriting.
There has not been very much the last few years. 4. Benefit
concerts and other events = $50,000 per year. 1 through 4 add
up $500,000 or TWICE the expected (realistic) annual return on
a $5 million endowment. Why then, has this more lucrative option
not been considered?
Members of the VSC board: Like previous commenters, I take
offense to the statement "WRVU would not go away if the FM license
were sold." Expecting us to believe such obvious untruths reflects a
condescending and aloof attitude on the part of the VSC board.
Without a transmitter, WRVU becomes completely irrelevant. [...]
[...] WRVU is the largest student organization on campus
with more student involvement than the football team and basketball
team (combined?) and the VSC acts like those students don't matter.
Reading your letter here seems like you would gladly trade in 100s
of students hard work at WRVU for HD VTV.
Now, listen, as bad as this letter to the editor is, it is still a massive
step forward than diversionary blather that comes from Carroll and
Wollaeger. Carroll has somehow framed himself the victim in
all this. (the guy is good) Ultimately this should be a student
decision and as such your opinion matters and appreciate that you
and the others put something together, but you do realize that
this requires serious thought, consideration and justification to
Vanderbilt students. The deliberation with this proposal should be
worthy of a top 25 school. [...]
See InsideVandy Letter to Editor and Comment Section for Complete Article.