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Amid Controversy Over New Policy, KHSU Volunteer Tried to Thwart Studio Move


Humboldt State University is on alert after a KHSU volunteer apparently tried unsuccessfully to convince the station’s engineer to sabotage its looming move to a new studio location on campus in order to “stick it to” the station’s general manager and a university vice president. In an email sent shortly after 9 p.m. on Sept. 6, volunteer Matt Knight urged the engineer to “throw out an anchor — discover problems that might take weeks — and weeks — and weeks to rectify,” in an effort to delay or otherwise hinder the station’s move from HSU’s theater arts building, which is undergoing seismic retrofitting, to Feuerwerker House. The move is expected to be completed next week. While it’s unclear exactly what Knight hoped to accomplish by stalling the move, the email makes clear he viewed it as an act of insurgency against KHSU general manager Peter Fretwell, who he refers to as a “psycho … bent on pile-driving KHSU into the ground as part of his sick revenge fantasy,” and HSU Vice President for Advancement Craig Wruck, who oversees the station. Both Fretwell and Wruck have been on the receiving end of widespread public criticism since the abrupt firing of popular and longtime KHSU program director Katie Whiteside in May, which has prompted a public outcry (see " Static at KHSU ," Aug. 30). Knight’s email comes amid what Wruck himself has described as a “caustic work environment” at the station, with recent weeks having seen the station’s Community Advisory Board advance a no-confidence vote in Fretwell, a station employee accuse Wruck of shouting her down during a staff meeting (accusations that ultimately prompted the university vice president to enlist a law firm to threaten legal action against the employee, as well as news outlets that reported her allegations) and general accusations on all sides of ulterior motives, bullying and retaliation. The Journal received Knight’s email anonymously but has independently verified its authenticity. Reached today, Knight declined to comment for this story but did provide the Journal with a follow-up email he sent the engineer Monday morning apologizing for his “stupid email.” “I had absolutely no right to make that sort of request of you,” the short follow-up states. University Police Department dispatch records indicate that someone reported Knight’s email to police at about 8:15 a.m. Saturday and requested additional patrols in…

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