On March 11, 2020, at 1:30 PM, the WHCS Radio E-Board voted unanimously to close our doors until March 23, 2020. At that time, we did not yet know that the City University of New York, which includes our Hunter College, would be suspending in-person classes and moving instruction online.
We were prepared to temporarily lock our doors so that our community may safely regroup at a later time. We also did not yet know the true severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in NYC. It was a good decision for us to close down, but our re-opening date of March 23 now seems too optimistic. Nonetheless, we remain hopeful for the future.
We still want to open. We miss our dear station already. But we know that social distancing is the main way we can ensure this pandemic subsides quickly and affects as few people as possible. We are keeping a re-opening on the table, but we will only entertain the option if the situation seems safe for our community and our city at large. Will it happen in April? May? June? Only time will tell. For now, we are prepared to be away from our dear station until it is safe for us to go back to her.
We are polling our community on what they are interested in. What we are currently hearing is that our community is as eager to get back to WHCS as we are but is just as cautious. In the mean time, as we wait for the public health situation to improve, we are going to be shifting gears and moving as many of our operations online. Obviously, the microphones, mixers, and other pieces of equipment remain locked in our studios, but our dynamic and brilliant show hosts are all at home, equally as brilliant and eager as they were before. We hope to connect our show hosts to our online platform soon. We will relay updates as the situation develops.
For now, our Production Room activities and our events have come to a standstill. We can’t conscionably open our studio doors, knowing the grave public health risk each trip outside constitutes. Neither can we amass a crowd in the tiny little hall we like to host our concerts in. These once regular happenings are now luxuries that live in our memories. They will resume soon, again, maybe April, maybe May, maybe June. Time will tell, but for now, we can only be hopefully, optimistic, and ever-so cautious.
-John, General Manager at WHCS Radio of Hunter College