Crowd Gathers at Arcata Plaza to Protest KHSU Cuts and Changes

ARCATA, Ca. (KIEM) – Humboldt State University is facing backlash from the community.

Earlier this week, HSU eliminated five of its staff and volunteers at KHSU. A protest during the Arcata Farmer’s Market drew supporters of the radio station.

“I first started listening on September 19th, 1975 when I moved into the Redwood Dorm on the HSU campus and hooked up my stereo,” said Former Community Advisory Board Member Barbara Boerger.

“Practically before I made my bed, I started looking for radio stations and that came in loud and clear.”

Barbara Boerger has been a long time listener and supporter of KHSU. Now many others like Barbara are outraged about the sudden changes made to the radio station.

“This was the nuclear action,” said Former KHSU staff Jeff DeMark.

“Basically, they blew up the whole station. It’s like humpty dumpty, they took us and shoved us off and it all broke up.”

On Thursday, HSU cut the General Manager and Chief Engineer positions, along with other staff and volunteer spots, citing financial deficits.

The University released a statement saying in part “The changes are intended to address operational challenges at KHSU, prevent further negative impact to the University’s budget, and better align HSU’s financial support with its mission and with opportunities for students.”

But long time listeners say, this doesn’t help the community. It hurts it.

“To just be cut out, as if it’s a mole on your famous, was hard to take,” says former Volunteer Programmer Brenda Starr, “it just doesn’t seem like this county and how the community stands with each other.”

KHSU has been around for 60 years. Now, many say it feels like a part of them is missing.

“I just lost my father ten days ago, I came back from a funeral and the next day here’s another funeral,” said Brenda

Supporters and listeners alike are frustrated and upset.

“It’s incredibly cruel and hurtful what’s happened and I’m grieving for the entire North Coast,” said Former Music Director Julee Unrulee.

While the protest was ongoing, the Arcata Farmer’s Market still continued.

Despite the gathering at the Plaza, many residents still went on to shop at the market.

But many showed their support for KHSU.

Redwood News spoke to one vendor and an HSU alumni. His stall was in front of the protest. He says, he stands in support with the staff and volunteers of the radio station.