The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday June 5th

Letter: Protect WXYC, for the culture


I, like many others, have enjoyed cracking jokes about the esoteric nature of much of the music that gets played on WXYC, UNC’s student-run radio station.

Recently, however, I’ve heard rumors through the grapevine that UNC’s student congress is considering exerting control over the music played by WXYC’s DJs, or otherwise cutting funding to the station because, supposedly, the music played by WXYC isn’t close enough to what the average UNC student enjoys listening to. This would be a total travesty.

Being a WXYC DJ was among the most mind-expanding and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The station has actively cultivated one of the most valuable and creative cultures on campus, and it’d be a real tragedy if it was neglected or limited. 

Although I like to make jokes about the sometimes difficult music played on the station, the university and the wider community are better for it. Much of the modern tech economy is built around narrowly catering to people’s pre-existing tastes rather than expanding their sense of what else exists. WXYC’s adventurous explorations of all kinds of sounds is a perfect antidote to this tendency.

The big streaming, internet radio and commercial radio businesses can shovel listeners what they already know they want much better than a bunch of college students (and dedicated old-timers) with heart and an inextinguishable sense of curiosity.

That is not what WXYC is good at, and there should be no attempt to copy that model. Instead WXYC, in miniature, has the same purpose and value as a university is supposed to — to study vast worlds of old knowledge and to spread new ones past the constraints of everyday life.

I, and I think many others, are grateful to have our worlds of listening challenged by WXYC and its DJs, and losing that resource would be inestimably sad.

Sam Schaefer

Class of ‘16

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