Claiming Student Government was biased and corrupt in choosing a new WBUL leader, interim station director Angela Granese resigned last week from the radio station, ending what was for her a “heartbreaking experience.”
In a letter explaining her resignation to the staff, Granese said, “I’m not going to put up a front and wear a fake smile; my heart is broken. WBUL means the world to me. But I had to take a stand for myself. I refuse to continue to let Student Government disrespect me, threaten me and treat me with bias.”
Granese argues that the Agency Review Board, an assembly headed by student body President Maxon Victor and comprised of directors of SG-controlled groups, was unfair in its process of finding a new station director when it voted in favor of Abyssinia Bandoh, who had no prior affiliation with WBUL. Granese started at WBUL in 2002, when she began as a volunteer and worked her way to interim station manager. Victor, or any member of the ARB, could not be reached for comment, but Granese said the Board thought she lacked the leadership skills necessary to run the station.
“We all thought this was her time to shine,” WBUL Music Director Jake Tremper said. “She would have done an excellent, excellent job running the radio station. She’d already been doing it for 12 weeks.”
According to Tremper, Granese had the full support of WBUL’s staff of approximately 60 students, most of whom are volunteers. In fact, angered by the process, they posted “OBEY” flyers around campus with a message on the back that blasted SG as being corrupt. The message read in part, “This is our protest against a broken system, a system riddled with inconsistencies, shady policies and failed logic. … If SG can make such decisions for us without us, what’s stopping them from doing the same to you? Never obey blindly.”
Granese said SG adviser David Armstrong, angered by the flyers, yelled at her and told her she would be fired as interim director anyway because she was not allowed hold that position for more than four weeks. Granese later said Armstrong apologized at an SG senate meeting in which many senators agreed with the flyer.
The fact that it had no representation in the process to choose its next leader also contributed to WBUL’s frustration with SG.
“The only representation in the process was that people from (WBUL) were allowed to apply,” said Trember, who said he was allowed to sit in on two of the interview sessions but could not participate and had to be unseen to the candidates. “Other than that, there was absolutely nothing.”
The Board, which conducted interviews with Granese and Bandoh, had voted a handful of times after mishaps caused previous elections to be void. Eventually, Bandoh was elected and went to the SG senate to go through a confirmation process. The senate then failed to confirm Bandoh.
“It didn’t make sense, and the senate caught on to that,” Granese said.
Senior Kendrall Watkins, whom Granese replaced in January as station manager, is going to step in for the time being, according to Tremper, who also said Granese is leaving the station in good shape.
“Her leadership really shone through all this, she kept the morale up and told us to not quit because of it,” Tremper said. “But right now, it’s just in her best interests to move on to other areas professionally.”