Celebrating College Radio Day: A Reflection

By Karin Carlson

College Radio Day is a national day to reflect on the importance of college radio.  Its aim is to increase listenership on Oct. 11th and to celebrate free, independent media.  In the spirit of the day, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on why WBCR, our own college radio station, means so much to me.

College radio is important because it gives students control over something that reaches beyond their campus. College stations don’t answer only to the college, but to the Federal Communications Commission, which gives the involved students a greater sense of responsibility and pride. We’re not like any other club on campus. If we screw up big time, then it’s not a slap on the wrist from the school; there are consequences that reach beyond the Beloit bubble. If you want to go into broadcast media or work at a record label or become a journalist, there are few extracurricular activities (aside from the Round Table) that can prepare you to work at a radio station.

Personally, I’m not sure if I would still be at Beloit if it weren’t for WBCR and the opportunity to get involved with the station. WBCR is incredibly democratic; this isn’t something that only the “cool kids” do (a misconception I had freshman year).

We will let anyone have a show unless they break the rules, never show up or play KISS all the time, and even then we’ll probably give them a show. I know that if I went to UW-Madison or some other humongous school, my first show application would have been rejected due to my (at the time) lack of musical knowledge, and I probably would’ve assumed that I wasn’t cool enough for radio.

Over homecoming weekend, we held an open house and almost every alum I spoke to mentioned how much they learned — both about radio and responsibility — thanks to WBCR. There’s such a rich history that lies within the station, and I feel more connected to it than any other national organization I’m a part of.

So in honor of College Radio Day, tune into WBCR at least once this week. Honestly, you probably know someone who has a show. You can find our schedule at, http://www.beloit.edu/wbcr_schedule, or you can randomly tune in from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on your old fashioned radio at 90.3 FM. If you’d like to hear a short program about the importance of college radio, be sure to tune into the following programmer’s shows: Anna Director (5-6 p.m.), Harley Liu and Rick Blonn (7-8 p.m.) and Adam Nicolas (11 p.m.-1 a.m.).



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