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

By Aviva Luttrell

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According to the email, Shea’s membership was revoked in accordance with Article 6 of the station’s manual, which pertains to harassment, physical assault and disruptive behavior.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 [email protected] and followed on Twitter @AvivaLuttrell. Mark Chiarelli contributed to this report.