KHSU advisory board remains dedicated
Parking tickets were issued to KHSU’s community advisory board members as they met for their monthly assembly on Sept. 26. Both Humboldt State University president, Lisa Rossbacher, and KHSU general manager, Peter Fretwell, were sternly against the community advisory board from holding their meeting.
KHSU community advisory board is completely volunteer based and allows members of the community to have their voices heard at KHSU. Community advisory board member, Barbara Boerger, said that parking passes in the past were issued for attendees but because Fretwell denied them access to a room those passes weren’t issued.
“I wouldn’t put it past someone alerting UPD about us meeting,” Boerger said.
Three UPD officers were in the parking lot as the meeting began. Boerger said multiple people got tickets as well as the husband of another community advisory board member. Boerger said she wasn’t sure if the UPD were just on routine but it was awfully suspicious there were so many officers in the parking lot, raising the thought of conspiracy theories.
“Everyone feels violated when getting a parking ticket,” Boerger said.
The community advisory board meeting was facilitated by Boerger and fellow community advisory board member, Jana Kirk Levine.
“This meeting is toward issues, not people. What’s important is why we are here tonight,” Kirk Levine said.
In president Rossbacher’s September letter addressed to the community advisory board, she asked for all members to individually respond to her about the clarity of a ‘no confidence’ vote towards general manager Fretwell. Kirk Levine said all but one community advisory board member responded within less than 24 hours yet, Rossbacher still wanted them to halt further meetings.
Boerger said through an email that CAB did not make the decision to terminate Peter Fretwell. The vote was related to the members of the community who have voiced strong calls for his termination.
“I think we clearly stated we were responding to the members of the community who spoke,” Boerger said regarding the request to forward a community vote of no confidence.
An earlier email addressed to KHSU staff from Fretwell stated KHSU would respect Rossbacher and have nothing to do with any meeting. Fretwell said KHSU would not publicize, form, participate or reserve space for a meeting.
KHSU staff members, Lorna Bryant and Jessica Eden were present at the meeting and Bryant live streamed the event.
This incident happened just before the KHSU fall pledge drive which is expected to go from Wednesday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 6. The KHSU annual summer pledge drive was cancelled due to community concerns regarding the firing of operations manager Katie Whiteside.
Whiteside was a longtime programmer and an employee at KHSU since 1995 before being terminated by Fretwell for reason’s unknown.
Other incidences include KHSU staffer Lorna Bryant contacting university administration with allegations of abusive behavior that included racism by HSU vice president for university advancement Craig Wruck.
Out of 3000 donors 120 have left KHSU as well as four business underwriters. Community members are pulling their support until issues get resolved.
Boerger said the fall pledge drive has been negatively affected due to the recent controversial issues involving KHSU. Every spring and fall KHSU has a large pledge drive that coincides with NPR. Summer and winter are smaller pledge drives and focuses on local premiums and thank you gifts.
Boerger said she finds it odd she hasn’t heard Fretwell’s voice during the pledge drive. When Fretwell was first hired he was an on-air voice and participated in the drive. Boerger said it may be a calculated tactic of Fretwell to not be participating.
“The pledge drive has lower expectations this year because of the recent issues,” Boerger said.