Seton Hall’s WSOU has been one of college radio’s most influential stations, especially when it comes to heavy metal and hard rock. The Catholic University’s radio station has been instrumental in breaking notable bands early on in their careers, but now it’s under fire from religious groups for playing “satanic” music.
The New Jersey university station is heavy on rock and metal programming, with current nightly shows like “Punk University”, focusing on punk and hardcore; “Vintage ’80s”, focusing on hair metal, thrash, and New Wave of British Heavy Metal; and even a Christian metal and hardcore show dubbed “Out of Babylon.” Throughout the years, WSOU has been one of the first radio stations in the New York / New Jersey market to play such bands as Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, and Korn, among others.
Over the past couple years, a group dubbed “Shutdown WSOU”, has been calling for the Seton Hall to change the station’s programming or shut it down completely. This past week, demonstrators staged a protest at the Seton Hall campus, with “Shutdown WSOU” founder Richard Smaglick telling News 12, “This is a Catholic University. Catholic universities of America have lost track of their mission to an extreme.”
He added, “It’s so bad that this Catholic university is airing Satanism to what they call a target audience of 12-year-olds in the largest media market in North America and that needs to end.”
On its official website, “Shutdown WSOU” maintains a list of specific songs as “evidence” of WSOU’s “satanic” offerings. A message on the website states, “Among the examples provided [on our evidence page] are Dimmu Borgir’s ‘The Serpentine Offering’, which is an explicit call to satanic worship by an openly satanic band and Myrkur’s ‘Måneblôt’ (Moonblood), about ritual sacrifice of a newborn child.”
In response to the protest, a Seton Hall spokesperson stated, “WSOU’s advisory board comprised of WSOU students and alumni along with Seton Hall University clergy and administrators, meets regularly to review the station’s content and operating policies and standards. The goal is to ensure that WSOU continues to realize its mission, goals, and long-held operating procedures. Further incorporating and integrating Catholic mission and ministry into WSOU’s wide-ranging and popular programming is always a priority.”
Watch News 12’s coverage of the protests in the clip below.