Friday, February 6, 2009

College Radio Airing on Campus?

When I was in college, the main place where our college radio station was heard was in the dining hall during mealtime. As a carrier current station, we didn't have a much range and only students living on campus in dorms could pick it up on their radios, so the dining hall broadcasts were crucial.

An opinion piece in Exponent Online makes the pitch for University of Wisconsin - Platteville campus station WSUP to be played in the Student Center in place of the satellite radio music that's currently being played. The author (also a staff member at WSUP) writes:

"I was walking through the Pioneer Student Center before my early class the other day and I stopped to grab a cup of coffee. I noticed that the PSC was playing slow jazz. While I am all for slow jazz, I do not appreciate it in the morning or in my student center. Again later that day while walking back through to grab some lunch I noticed they were playing lame 90’s pop music that sucked when it came out and still sucks today. That then caused me to ask the question, 'Why isn’t the student center playing the student radio station WSUP?'

As a member of the WSUP executive staff for the past three semesters, this especially annoys me. WSUP is the oldest college radio station in the UW system, and one of the few that is completely student run. What kind of message does it send, especially to prospective students, when our own PSC does not play a high caliber college radio station such as WSUP? Additionally, the students do help fund our operation so it should only be simple logic that we are played in the center for the students."

When I visited Stanford station KZSU recently, I was told that their station is not played on campus either. The GM pointed out that it would be great to have the station played in campus buildings and common areas because it would help to increase students' awareness and appreciation for the station.

Is your station played on campus? If not, why not?


Logan 5 said...

Ours is not played on campus. There have been past efforts and agreements, and some new agreements are forthcoming, but the fact is that college radio is unpredictable - either the programming is random when the "robot" is on (we're a small station) or the programming can be too narrow when a specialty show is on. I forgive the campus coffee shop for not really wanting to listen to an hour of agit-pop while waiting for the all-trance show to start. People work there, and they listen all day to whatever's on the stereo, and they call the shots.

I think a station needs to be programmed with this audience in mind to work - variety shows during working hours with DJs who keep a tight board and have an awareness of sequence, energy flow, etc. And in college radio, that can be asking a lot.

jnovakpgh said...

Until very recently I worked at WWVU
FM at West Virginia University. In general, our station was not played widely on campus. I know that there were a few offices that played us occasionally, but not all that regularly and we definitely weren't played in the student union. The station has enough range that it can be picked up for about 15 miles or so, so the fact that we were not played didn't have that big of an impact. The community at large knew about the station, but I was always surprised at how many students were not aware of us. While it would have been nice to have the increased awareness that being played all over campus would have brought the station, I considered it something of a blessing that we were not. There was talk occasionally of us being played throughout the campus and my fear was always that someone who worked in one of the buildings might not be so enamored with say, something like, Animal Collective or The Vivian Girls, and they would complain to some higher up who would then come down on the station. We had encountered problems before with student government wanting to know why we didn't play more accessible music and I thought the best way to avoid that happening again was to not have the station be mandatory listening in all buildings.

Jon Schleuss said...

At KSCL we had an outdoor speaker outside our window. We'd jam hardcore throughout the day and turn the speaker off at night. It was pretty bitchin' to hear metal at noon bouncing around campus. Though, the residence halls would phone in (or Facebook) complaints.

Now at KXUA we don't have anywhere on campus listening. No music in the Union. None in the coffee shops. It's all eerily quiet. This causes me to sing my own songs, disrupting the study groups.

Unknown said...

KSUA is not played in the student union or the eating areas either. We have to work damn hard to get our station out there.