January 25th, 2006
|Volume 24, Issue 1|
By Mallory Medved - Copy Editor
WUIS 91.9 FM, the public radio station of the university, is coming a little bit closer to building its new recording facility, thanks to a gift from two of Springfield’s most prolific philanthropists.
Michelle and Guerry Suggs, longtime fans of public radio, have donated $25,000 to the station for WUIS’s new recording studio, scheduled to open in 2008.
The money will go to an extensive remodeling of the existing building. The radio station will take over the entire building, including office space formerly occupied by the economics department.
Starting within the next couple of months, construction will begin on a new entrance to the studio, with a reception area and space for artwork and displays.
“WUIS is going to be more of a presence on campus,” said Development Director Lisa Clemmons Stott.
Over the next two years, the building will be gutted and then rebuilt, with more offices for WUIS staff and more recording space for shows like “Bluegrass Breakdown,” “Classics with Karl Scroggins” and the award-winning “Illinois Edition.”
The remodeling project is expected to cost $45,000, including a new, 900-square-foot performing arts studio, recording space for up to 12 people and soundproofing throughout.
“It’s cheaper since we’re not building a brand-new facility,” said Stott.
Besides the Suggses, other radio fans in the community have pitched in to help finance the new studio. An anonymous donor gave $5,000. Others give what they can, whether it’s $100 or $1,000. Only $11,000 still needs to be raised for the project to be complete.
“I think of it as a piano; one $1,000 key here, one $1,000 key there, soon we’ll have enough for the whole instrument,” says Stott.
Stott says people are tuning in to WUIS who are fans of classical music, bluegrass, jazz, alternative country and the like, as well as local bands.
“They want good music not found on commercial radio,” she said.
WUIS hopes the new, larger studio will introduce a new generation to college radio. The new recording studio will be large enough to accommodate a studio audience, especially children on field trips.
Students on campus will also benefit from the new recording space. When the remodel is complete, the studio will be available for rent to aspiring student musicians for recording their own music.
Michelle and Guerry Suggs have been WUIS supporters since 1986, according to a press release on the university’s Web site. Guerry became a vice president of Bank of Springfield in 1976. Between the two of them, they have been involved in many local organizations, including the Illinois State Museum, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield Urban League. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Since 1975, WUIS has provided news and cultural programming to listeners in Springfield and across western Illinois. More information and a programming line-up can be found at www.wuis.org.
By Ashley Rook - General Assignment Reporter
Due to the efforts and commitment of several student organizations, the Fair Trade movement has gained momentum this year. However, the availability of Fair Trade coffee in Capitol Perks is only the start of measures that will make UIS a more socially conscious and environmentally friendly campus.
For the past two years, several UIS students have tried to raise awareness of Fair Trade by setting up information tables, having taste tests of Fair Trade products and collecting signatures from students to show support. However, the initiative to bring Fair Trade coffee to UIS was officially brought to the attention of SGA by Students Allied for a Greener Earth (SAGE) members Vera Leopold and Mike Mikulski last October and quickly gained campus-wide attention and the support of students, faculty members and student groups such as United Students Against Sweatshops and College Democrats.
SGA played a pivotal part in making Fair Trade coffee a reality by speaking with administrators and drawing up a resolution on Fair Trade coffee. Students urged the administration to evaluate Fair Trade coffee pricing and through meetings with Steve Chrans, assistant vice-chancellor for student affairs, the SGA discovered that bringing the product to campus would be cost-effective for the university.
By late November, Fair Trade coffee was available at Capitol Perks. The coffee, which is the same price as regular coffee, is purchased from the Bean Counter in Petersburg.
“We are so excited about this because not only do you help global causes by buying Fair Trade coffee, you’re also supporting local business,” said Vera Leopold.
The overwhelming success of the resolution ensures that coffee will not be the only Fair Trade product offered at UIS. Fair Trade decaf coffee, due to demand from faculty members, will arrive this semester and the SGA resolution recommends the implementation of a full line of Fair Trade coffee, including espresso and flavored coffee.
Involved students are also in support of making other Fair Trade products such as bananas, sugar, tea and chocolate available and offering whole-bean coffee for campus offices.
In the resolution, SGA asks the administration to revisit the initiative at the end of the Spring 2006 semester to analyze its profits and losses in order to come up with the best strategic plan for Fair Trade at UIS and then work with the SGA president to make decisions that will benefit students in the area of Fair Trade coffee.
SGA has also formed an Ad-Hoc committee of the SGA that will focus on environmental issues in an attempt to address related issues. Comprised of various UIS students, the committee is eager to hear from the student body on issues of environmental concern.
“SGA supports all initiatives that can realistically benefit the students and we are eager to work towards a more environmentally friendly campus,” said SGA President Samantha Drews. “SGA advocates for a campus that listens and acts on the concerns of the students and we are pleased to see such an immediate and cooperative response from the division of Student Affairs.”
By Mark Brockett - Sports Reporter
For the first time in the short lived history of the UIS men’s basketball team, they can say they are the team to beat in their conference.
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