The 1960’s: Resignation, Reforms, and LSD

In March of 1960, KCSU ran its first test program with a pre-recorded segment via carrier-current to Newsom Hall. The program had music, campus news, and interviews with the radio staff that students could listen to through the phone lines. In 1964, KCSU finally received its’ FCC building permit and built an FM station.

After a year of broadcasting, three student employees of the KCSU station resigned due to poor station management. According to Marc Tobias and Tom Herrick, the station was not running as an educational radio station, it was instead competing with local radio stations for popularity. The station manager refuted the claims saying they had met the educational goals through the programs like “Concert in Classic,” “University in the Round,” “Jazz Concert,” and “Woman’s World.” And in addition, the fifteen dollars a month  was not at all reflective of the time they poured into their work.

The station regularly experienced technical difficulties because of a 25-year-old control board causing KCSU to shut down in the mid-1960’s to install new equipment and create a “bright, new sound” for Fort Collins.

In 1966, KCSU challenged other radio stations by talking about the controversial topic of LSD. Dr. Sidney Cohen and Mrs. Aldous Huxley were interviewed about the uses, effects, and dangers of LSD discussed in the documentary, “LSD and the Beyond Within” and even recorded a student taking a “trip”. This was a controversial subject matter in the 1960’s, but CSU felt the importance of educating the public, and the radio was able to get listeners. A link to the documentary can be found here.