CALIFORNIA — University officials at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo could sell the student radio station’s FM frequency after two student deejays launched a fundraising campaign featuring sexually explicit photos.
On April 21, the Facebook page for “Getting It In,” a sex talk show on KCPR, posted that “for only $20 dollars, you can have a week of sexy snapchats featuring the hosts of Getting It In!” But when university officials learned of the fundraiser, student deejays Logan Cooper and Sean Martinez were told they could no longer broadcast their show beginning May 17.
Cooper said the fundraiser was not an official KCPR-sponsored event, adding that “since we barely get any funding from our school as it is, we thought, ‘hey, let’s do something fun, risque, unique to our show.’”
One person donated to the fundraiser, he said, but the money was later returned.
“We thought sex positivity was an OK thing,” Cooper said. “We came from a good place. We were trying to help out the station in a unique way and it kind of backfired on us.”
Martinez declined to comment on the incident.
Tyler Deitz, student general manager of KCPR at the time, said he didn’t take Cooper seriously when he was told about the fundraiser.
“Logan briefly brought it up to me in person as like a 20-second pitch,” Deitz said. “The other executive was the one who reviewed the documentation and form and decided it was distanced far enough away from the station to be acceptable as a means for a singular entity, not affiliated with the KCPR, to get funds to donate to the station.”
CalCoastNews.com, an independent news website located in San Luis Obispo, reported Thursday on emails they obtained through the California Public Records Act, which hint that the school could sell the station.
“I am beginning to believe that we should sell the radio license,” Douglas Epperson, dean of the college of liberal arts, said in an email sent on May 19, adding that the university has had an offer. “What were they thinking and how could it go so far with faculty completely unaware!!!”
Epperson and Richard Gearhart, KCPR’s faculty adviser and associate journalism professor, did not reply to phone calls or emails requesting a comment.
As far as support from the student government at Cal Poly, Associated Students, Inc., President Joi Sullivan said that the ASI “currently is not involved in the discussion or decision-making process” regarding the sale of the station.
“The KCPR Snapchat fundraiser is not something I can personally condone,” Sullivan said. “However, KCPR is a student-managed radio station on our campus and I am always in support of student success.”
Matt Lazier, university spokesman, said that the university is “evaluating how we can optimize the educational aspects of the station.” Lazier would not comment on the process of selling the station or who has the ultimate authority to do so.
“KCPR has long been and continues to be an important hands-on learning experience for many Cal Poly students from a variety of academic programs,” Lazier said.
Cooper said he thinks “it’s certainly an overreaction” if the university decides to sell their 310-watt FM frequency.
By Jenna Spoont, SPLC staff writer. Contact Spoont by email or at (703) 807-1904 ext. 127.