So many of us often overlook some of the best parts of our day. A song that you really like will come on the radio, and it sets the mood for a great morning. Or something someone said on the air makes you laugh, or makes you think a little harder about what you just heard. Whether we realize it or not radio is something we all can relate to; it is an art form all by itself. However it seems that radio, and the art of broadcast communication, is being overlooked by this generation. That ought to change, especially at Lesley: we need a student-run radio station of our own. Campus radio has so much potential. Just like at other colleges, a campus station could easily become a popular and important part of our Lesley community.
The power of radio comes from being able to go online, or switch to an FM frequency and get real people talking to you about real things, entertaining topics and dialogue, and a human touch to accompany the music you actually enjoy. There is a notion that young people don’t care about radio and that it is a largely dead art. But radio communication can be so personal and creative. And part of that creativity comes from the audience– the people who listen to it. Radio communication is one of the greatest arts because it relies on human to human contact. You can paint alone, you can sing alone, and you can dance alone; but just try having a conversation alone… not too much fun. With radio, you have a companion. It not only gives you the songs you like, but there is also someone talking to you.
Radio creates an invisible bond that connects everyone who listens, and it is a catalyst for talk and debate. There is a witty simplicity to radio that has fascinated me for years, and I’m not alone in feeling this way about it. There are over twenty students at Lesley that I know, who have come to me and asked if they could participate if Lesley had a radio station. I’m sure there are even more than just the ones I know on campus.
My generation seemed to have missed out on the big radio craze of the previous generation, but it’s not too late; in fact, we are custom-fit for it. There is a passion for music that I see in every student in my class; and I’ve had multiple people come to me ask to be DJs if and when we have our own radio station. There would be an opportunity to play songs that truly deserve airtime, and stream live music to those who love it. I am certain it would attract a following very quickly.
I got interested in radio by listening to stations where people on the air knew how to spice things up. I listened because I didn’t know what I was going to hear next and that excited me. When Lesley has a radio station it will be exciting and unpredictable, just like that. We will have shows that are entertaining, shows that offer comedy, shows that are educational and informative; and along with a wide variety of music (including some by indie bands who don’t get the attention they deserve), our station will be custom-designed for the students. It will be a much more enjoyable listening experience than Pandora or Spotify could ever be, because our station will have that incredible human touch.
I understand that there are budget priorities at Lesley, but with internet broadcasting, I believe we have the potential to fund a station at a very reasonable cost. Why hasn’t this happened? Perhaps the administration believes students don’t want or care about a station of their own. Perhaps there is a belief that students won’t listen to it and they won’t want to get involved. I disagree wholeheartedly with that belief. The argument I’m making is that we have a group of people willing and able to perform all the tasks necessary to run a radio station, and we will be putting program on the air that are just as entertaining as any other form of media. The popularity of our programs will increase when people hear music they rarely get to hear anywhere else. They will easily be able to obtain the live stream, so it will be convenient for everyone to listen to. They’ll also be able to call in or text message the broadcasters, to make song requests or comment on one of the programs.
In addition to music, I envision news coverage (perhaps in collaboration with the Lesley Public Post), heated debates, intelligent conversation, and comedic bits all rolled into one very entertaining series of broadcasts. There is a way to make news more interesting and relevant, and to avoid all the clichés that make every newsroom sound the same. We would cover topics that deserve airtime, and stories that don’t receive national attention. And again, the idea of calling in to the station to discuss topic on air is an amazing tool that Lesley students will have.
I strongly believe that Lesley would make great use of this radio station, and with a growing group of students willing to join the station’s crew, it has already become a popular idea and will be even more popular as time passes. Lesley University is a great school, and it is filled with great people. But one thing it lacks is a campus radio station. I want to be able to say that this year, you’ll be able to hear what happens when a great school decides to invest in broadcasting, making it possible for student DJs to talk over the air, and making the world a little more entertaining for the rest of us.