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Long-time campus radio host banned from WMUA, status of station adviser unclear

Mark Chiarelli/Daily Collegian

Aviva Luttrell/Daily Collegian

A long-time community member and radio host at the University of Massachusetts’ radio station WMUA has been banned from its facilities and a new station adviser has been temporarily named after it was determined the host violated the student agency’s anti-harassment and discrimination policy, according to a station-wide email obtained by the Daily Collegian.

In the email, station manager Andrew DesRochers writes that Max Shea, host of “Martian Gardens,” a weekly radio program featuring contemporary classical and experimental music, is no longer allowed on the WMUA premises and his show has been terminated. A full version of the email can be read below.

According to the email, Shea’s membership was revoked in accordance with Article 6 of the station’s manual, which pertains to harassment, physical assault and disruptive behavior. It is unclear how Shea violated the policy.

His removal was done in coordination with the Dean of Students Office, the UMass Police Department and the Center for Student Development, according to the email.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development Annemarie Seifert will temporarily be fulfilling the role of station adviser, a position previously held by Glenn Siegel. The email does not state whether Siegel’s removal from the position is permanent, and his involvement in the incident is unclear.

Calls to both Shea and Siegel’s homes went unanswered Thursday night.

However, several posts on what appears to be Shea’s Facebook profile addressed the incident.

“After 22 years of fierce loyalty and undying service to WMUA 91.1 FM here in Amherst, the Executive Committee revoked my membership and effectively banned me from the University of Massachusetts Campus Center,” one post states. “Two police officers escorted me from the building and told me never to return.”

UMPD Lieutenant Robert Thrasher said that officers were dispatched to WMUA to assist with an incident at the station, but said he did not have further information and advised that the Collegian fill out a public record request.

In another Facebook post, Shea writes the Executive Committee of WMUA voted by a two-thirds majority to revoke his membership. Shea attributed the decision to conflicts with a number of students at the station. He also wrote that WMUA had suspended Siegel.

Attempts by the Collegian to reach leadership at the station went unanswered Thursday night.

UMass spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski declined to comment but said he hoped to have information available Friday.

Aviva Luttrell can be reached at aluttrel@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @AvivaLuttrell. Mark Chiarelli contributed to this report.

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Comments
18 Responses to “Long-time campus radio host banned from WMUA, status of station adviser unclear”
  1. Dank Maymays says:

    *Advisor* lol. For people who clearly don’t have half the story maybe you shouldn’t rush to print…

  2. Bake McBride says:

    Max, Max, Max … your d-baggedness has finally caught up to you. Now the only basement you can inhabit is your parents’.

  3. Zac Bears says:

    “Adviser has always been the more usual spelling, though advisor has gained frequency in recent years and is a common alternative, especially in North America.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adviser

    “There is no difference between them. But adviser, the older version, is listed as the primary spelling in most dictionaries, and it is about five times as common as advisor in current news publications…”

    http://grammarist.com/spelling/adviser-advisor/

  4. Nick D says:

    Is there an update to this story?

  5. Judy says:

    How sad that it was decided that such a well-loved, excellent program of music needed to be eliminated from the roster of UMass radio shows (Martian Gardens.) Max Shea’s program of unusual music was more that just another show—it was on for 22 years and had built up a listener following because of the devotion of its creator, with his many years of studying and appreciation—and his ability to guide others along the path of enjoying these alternate musical expressions of mood, emotion and cognition. This is not a person that you find every day, and Max is a gem that UMass may regret having raised such harsh judgments against. Certainly many listeners and fans of Max’s show are feeling regret today.

    What happened? It sounds as if Max, with his sensitive and subtle ability to appreciate forward-looking aspects of culture, was not understood by certain people regarding his attempts to bring attention to how the station was handling issues of racism and feminism.

    If the emotionally driven folks who are fighting for fairness in areas such as racism and feminism hear you objecting to their STYLE of bringing attention to the problem, (instead of understanding that you are attempting to bring more equanimity to how the issue is dealt with,) they may interpret what you are doing as “racist” or “feminism.”

    At all times, it is a loaded topic to address, as people are very emotional about it, some looking everywhere for signs of a resurgence of racism or feminism that they can beat back, some wanting to get revenge for the suffering they have previously experienced because of it, and so on.

    But don’t we have to be able to talk about these things and be allowed to express feelings and thoughts that might be unorthodox without being inflicted with snap-judgments by people who are emotionally driven?
    Emotions and thoughts can’t really exist at the same moment. Once you have felt your passion, you must then examine the conclusions you came to while you were passionate, and see if they make sense.

    It looks like Max was not given that consideration by either the first line of accusers, or by the administrators and people in charge. His judgment appears to have been an emotionally-based judgment which should have been taken to some kind of rational type “court-of law” situation before anything was decided. This does not appear to have been done. When did Max have a chance to express his points of view before something like “a group of his peers?” And when did he get a chance to hear their points of view in a calm and reasonable setting?

    And how does attacking Max, when he was trying to bring a fresh approach to how racism and feminism are handled at the station, “creating an accepting and safe space” for the employees and station members?

    This does not sound “safe” to me, nor does this snap-decision judgment, bringing emotional disaster into the life of the judged person, appear to be what I see as “The American Way.”

    Please forgive me if I have egregiously misunderstood anything about the situation, or stated anything unfairly in this email.

    Judy

  6. QT and Vodka plz says:

    Hahaha

    “Sensitive”

    “Subtle”

    That man has said and done things that could make anyone’s stomach churn. He has made perfectly clear that it is not the manner in which WMUA seeks to diversify, but the very goal of diversification that upsets him. Max has had 22 years of “consideration” and has always managed to weasel his way in and out of that organization, from incident to incident.

    Max has no peers. He chooses to arbitrarily place himself above all others due to whatever masturbatory pleasure he gets from playing unnecessarily abrasive and “challenging” music. We get it. Contemporary classical music exists. You don’t like pop music. You think hip-hop is disgusting.

    Max isn’t interested in “trying to bring a fresh approach” to WMUA. The man is nothing but a contrarian. A bitter, angry, racist, (but more importantly boring) contrarian. Someone who’s only joy seemed to come from obsessively re-organizing CDs in an attempt to permanently leave his handwriting all over that station.

    It’s a shame. Experimental music is great, but Max has made me forever a Poptimist.

  7. FormerWMUA_DJ says:

    Everyone has had their experiences with Max over the years. I’m just curious as a former program producer and staffer at WMUA during my undergrad years what even actually occurred, and how Glenn Siegel is involved. Has there been any further developments or public responses on this?

  8. Judy says:

    To QT and Vodka Plz,

    Would you please do us the favor of providing us with some quotes by Max to give weight to your claim that “the…goal of diversification…upsets him.”

    [“He has made perfectly clear that it is not the manner in which WMUA seeks to diversify, but the very goal of diversification that upsets him.”]

    Thanks,

    Judy

  9. Bill says:

    I don’t know Max, but I’m a fan of his fabulous show. I hope we soon find out details of the accusations of his “harassment, physical assault [or] disruptive behavior” and hear his response. I think UMass owes that much to the community, especially as it is an institution which should be devoted to fairness and open and free discussion.

  10. Judy says:

    To QT and Vodka Plz,

    No response? I thought as much.

    Or maybe you’ve been just too busy to back up your slander and try to turn in into truth.

  11. Judy says:

    Bill – Are you on Facebook? You could get in touch with Max there?
    Judy

  12. Mark says:

    If WMUA is done with Max Shea, WMUA will be a lot less interesting, & I may be done with WMUA. A big hole has opened up in my week. I’m hoping this situation is not permanent.

  13. QT and Vodka plz says:

    Judy,

    I don’t think thats my place, since this is a police matter. If authorities ever need my testimony I’m sure they’ll reach out to me.

    You should already know all the details though, since you’re his mom and all…

    (*^‿^*)

  14. Bill says:

    So QT and Vodka plz publicly and anonymously calls someone a racist but refuses to say why because “that’s not my place”? I hope QT and Vodka plz is not representative of UMass or WMUA.

  15. QT and Vodka plz says:

    lol bill welcome to the internet. Take it or gtfo

  16. Max Shea says:

    “He has made perfectly clear that it is not the manner in which WMUA seeks to diversify, but the very goal of diversification that upsets him.” This, for instance, is a lie. Everything you are hearing about this case from these confused students and the clowns who hang onto their coattails is lies. They have no problem lying to anybody for any reason handy. Furthermore, they care about diversity only as a cudgel in their hands.

  17. Judy says:

    And when they don’t lie, their defenders say foolish, unconnected things and seem to imagine they make sense.

  18. Matt says:

    Two years later and you’re still a douche, Max.

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