As we near the end of another Oxford year, I met up with Paul Arrich to look back on his time as Oxide Radio Station Manager. Paul’s first words on his term as Oxide’s main man was that it was “very hectic”. Nevertheless, for all the hustle and bustle that accompanies the position Paul still looks back with a great deal of fondness. Before running for Station Manager Paul had always told me that there were many changes and improvements he wanted to instigate. A year on I was curious to know how the reality of the situation corresponded to his original vision. Paul said that there were a lot of things that he would have dearly liked to have achieved but that part of being Station Manager was reconciling yourself with the necessity of compromise. However, Paul still cites with great pride the relocation of the Oxide studio from a dark, little (and, I would like to add, sweltering) cupboard to a spacious well-equipped room on the top floor of the OUSU building. He also claims that this year has seen the complete revamp of the Oxide website and the remodelling of Oxide as something of a brand name through posters, an array of Facebook groups, and even Oxide Apparel in the form of a particularly garish red t-shirt which I have been known to wear proudly to many a glowsticked Nu-Rave affair. Even though there are only a few weeks left of the year, Paul is not taking his foot off the accelerator – straight after the interview he was heading for OUSU council to oversee a crucial vote on a separate constitution for Oxide. If passed it would, among other things, guarantee the station complete editorial independence. This would allow it to have whichever guests it wants, thereby avoiding a recurrence of the messy situation in Hilary when, under its no-platform policy, OUSU prevented Nick Griffin, leader of BNP, from appearing on a topical politics show. So what does the future hold? Paul’s aim for the coming weeks is to conduct a series of interviews in search of his successor, something he looks forward to with both relief and regret. However, he will not be leaving Bonn Square behind entirely as he has been elected JCR Affiliations Officer for New College. Somewhat surprised, I asked Paul if he thought he might be a little in love with OUSU, to which he reacted as most self-respecting 20 year old males would. He baulked at the thought, realised the violence of his reaction, then laughed it off seeking refuge in semantics; “Well, love’s a strong word!”
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