OPINION | New online radio should incorporate student ideas

Butler University will witness the return of a radio station to campus.

However, students will not be tuning into their car radios to listen because this radio station will be online.

College of Communication faculty members are working on licensing music to play and setting up the station through Butler’s Information Technology department.

Mark Harris, technical services coordinator for CCOM, said that the year-and-a-half-long process should be finished by spring semester.

While the prospect of the online radio station opens the door for many possibilities, the faculty members behind the station are making a vital mistake.

They are not including or informing the student body, especially students who could benefit from being involved in the process.

Harris said that the station will play a variety of music, including pieces from Jordan College of the Arts, recording industry studies students and many popular artists.

He also said that the station will be open to music suggestions from students.

The station will start off small but will eventually give students opportunities to be commentators for Butler sporting events, broadcast campus news and promote student musicians and performers.

While these ideas have real potential to benefit the university, students ought to be involved in the creation process.

Digital media production majors, recording industry studies majors, journalism majors, and students working in IT could learn so much from setting up the station.

Such an experience would give students skills that could help them in the professional world.

And the radio station would benefit overall if the faculty designing the station gathered input from the student body.

Student input on what sorts of music is played and what kinds of programs run on the station would be invaluable.

Also, students may offer a fresh perspective about the technology and setup of the radio.

“It’s the professors putting it together, and it’s disappointing that students aren’t being involved,” said Elissa Chapin, a junior recording industry studies major.  “There aren’t a lot of opportunities for recording industry studies students on this campus, and the ones that are out there aren’t presented to students very well.

The station has so much potential, and yet the professors designing it aren’t telling their students about it.

These CCOM professors should be heavily advertising the station.

They need to get students involved and build up excitement for the station so that when it becomes active students will utilize the opportunity opened to them.

“I wish they would incorporate students in getting this started,” said recording industry studies major Ryan Hallquist.  “I would hope to be involved in some aspect. It would look great to say I’ve had experience working with a station like that.”

Students already have the drive and willingness to participate in this radio station, professors working on it just need to inform them.

The professors and faculty behind the online station need to make a serious effort to reach out to students and get them involved with the project, and it should happen soon.

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