Rice students and KTRU fans got yet another setback last night. Amidst a packed crowd of students, members of KTRU staff and loyal listeners, everyone with a question voiced their opinions and frustrations. The only problem was the lack of an administration ear to hear the comments.
Although the station manager Joey Yang was mediating the discussion and answering questions, there were simply two empty chairs next to him with nameplates labeled "Administration Representative" next to him for the entire hour. Early in the meeting Yang apologized for the lack of presence, saying, "Thank you all for showing up, and I apologize if you wanted to be heard."
Without skipping a beat, an audience member shouted back, "They're scared!"
And it seems that the random shouter was right. Yang said that four specific administrators had been invited - and all refused in one form or another. David Leebron, President of Rice, and Linda Thrane, Rice's Vice President for Public Affairs, both turned down their invitations. Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson and Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby simply didn't respond to the invite, preferring the empty chairs speak for themselves.
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"After they turned us down, we sent an e-mail to the president's office asking any administrator to come; no one showed up," Yang said.
However the administration feels, no one is giving in just yet. Last night almost every seat in the room was taken - and there were another fifty people lining each wall of the auditorium. There are already plans in place to hold another support protest if the staff continues to push KTRU's sale forward.
There's a "Save KTRU" show being held at Fitzgerald's on Sept. 24. If the KTRU transmitter is shut down there will be another rally.
No one can say the station's supporters aren't trying. The question is, are all of these efforts going to be wasted? When asked about the chances of realistically overturning the sale, Yang replied, "We don't know (the odds). We've heard it's a done deal, we've been told there's hang-ups. We were told it could be (shut down) in 24 hours, then in a week. It's been two weeks now."