I've been a volunteer at WLUW since I was a freshman communications major 11 years ago, and I've seen the station go through a lot of changes over the years ["Picking Up Its Marbles" by Deanna Isaacs, July 27]. At each growing pain, Craig Kois, along with Shawn Campbell, pushed through and made WLUW a better place to learn, work, and listen.
When I first started in 1996 there were less than two dozen students involved with WLUW. Today, there are over 200 volunteers, including 100 students, and many of the other 100 people are Loyola alumni like myself.
WLUW has become the only independent community radio station in Chicago, and one of the most successful in the country both in terms of listeners and programming as well as financial considerations. As media consolidation in American continues to increase, I believe that independent community-based outlets like WLUW will become even more important for listeners as well as for job-seekers. If there is an ideal place in Chicago for a college student to learn about radio, as well as gain practical hands on experience for a future career, it is WLUW.
Which is why it is so puzzling to me that as Loyola has moved to take back management of WLUW from Chicago Public Radio, they have also decided not to take Craig Kois and Shawn Campbell back with the station. Looking at the work that Craig and Shawn have done, I cannot imagine a reason why they would be unqualified for the jobs they have held for the past decade, nor why any student would not be eager to learn under their guidance. Indeed, anyone else with their resumes would be hired in a minute! Loyola has done a disservice to future students who will never have the opportunity to learn under Craig and Shawn's management. Further troubling is the news that Craig's teaching position with Loyola has also been eliminated.
I chose Loyola because it is a great place to get an education. But I loved Loyola because of Craig Kois. It was not until I met Craig that I truly understood Loyola's Jesuit values of service for others, social justice, and community engagement. No where else in my education at Loyola were Loyola's Jesuit values more apparent than in Craig Kois and WLUW, and when I think of my college experience, that is what I remember. Craig modeled these values in class, pushing us to think critically, listen to opposing viewpoints, strive always for professionalism in our work, and find ways to make our work meaningful . . . and maybe even change the world. Outside of class, Craig was always ready to lend an ear, provide candy from his dish, and give you either the hug or tough talk you needed. Compassionate, kind, and intelligent, no one exemplifies what Loyolans should aspire to more than Craig. My experiences as a student of Craig's impacted not only my educational and career aspirations, but also deeply impacted my Catholic faith and changed the way I live my life.
I believe that Loyola University has made a grave error in not hiring Craig back to teach, and I hope that for the sake of the students they will reconsider.
Loyola BA Communication, 2000
WLUW volunteer and host of the Women on Women music program