WQAQ tower not an eyesore

By on September 26, 2006

Recently, WQAQ lost a very important member of its family. It was the lifeblood of the station. No, this isn’t a metaphor for someone close to the station, or even a person at all. But it is what made WQAQ a radio station. Of course, I’m talking about the station’s radio tower.

You won’t hear this from many radio supporters, but it really was an awful sight. It was a ghastly grotesque structure, that soared 50 feet high in the air. The monstrosity lurked over the quadrangle like a lion looking over its captured prey. The monstrous construction cast a shadow that was so large that playing frisbee in the quad was basically impossible after 4 p.m. due to darkness.

Like a scene from Independence Day, the tower’s shadow slowly crept over the library’s version of Big Ben, and when the chimes started playing “it’s a wonderful life,” for the 15th time that day, I could have sworn aliens were on their way to blow up the Arnold Bernhard Library.

Oh wait. Actually, I hardly noticed the “eyesore.”

Well, actually I did notice it. I noticed it the first time I came here as a senior in high school. When I took a tour of the gorgeous campus, I noticed it, and admired it. Not because it was a lovely statue of a 50-foot Q-Tip, but rather because I knew that under that white tower was a radio station, the selling point for me coming here.

It is the very same radio station where I met my best friends. It is the radio station that kept me and my 30 grand from transferring home to the cheaper in-state University of Rhode Island. It is the radio station that has generated more memories for me than any other place on campus. OK, other than running as fast as I can after a stint at the “Rat.”

But now I have another memory, only this one’s not so fond. Forever, when I think of my senior year, I will think of it as the year when WQAQ stopped broadcasting over the air.

And the question really is, why? Was the tower really that ugly? How many students and parents took the tour of the campus and suddenly stopped and said, “Whoa.what is that? Timmy, you’re not coming here.”

I’m willing to bet, zero.

Was the school getting a lot of complaints from residents or alumni? I don’t believe it was. I would be willing to believe that the tower sold more people to come here than rejected. When someone asked ‘what is that?’ the tour guide probably told the crowd how it was a 24/7 college radio station tower. And most of the prospective students wouldn’t really care, but some in the group would think it was awesome. I was one of the latter.

Removing the tower isn’t even the biggest problem though. It was the way it was done. No notice was given to any of the student managers, and furthermore, there was not even a contingency plan for a new location. This indicates that some of the brass didn’t really care about WQAQ’s broadcasting abilities. I’m sure they thought it was simple enough that the station could stream over the Internet.

It’s like taking away the printers for The Chronicle, or any newspaper, but letting the newspaper still post articles on its Web site. It’s just not the same.

Personally, I still have trouble believing it was done for cosmetic reasons. This campus is gorgeous. I don’t think there’s been a single professor or student who doesn’t think so. It really is the one constant positive about Quinnipiac. How much more beautiful can one make it?

All kidding and joking aside, I realize this isn’t the end of the world, and in the grand scheme of things, this is really not a big deal when you take into account the real news we hear everyday. But to one of the largest student organizations on campus, an organization of well over 120 active members, this news came as both sad and disappointing.

I think I speak for most, if not all the radio station members when I say it’s ironic that in a move that attempted to make this campus look more beautiful, Quinnipiac has never looked so ugly.


About John Radzinski