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Station tour proves radio is not dead

The campus station, Radio K, opened it doors to students interested in becoming DJs.
Radio K underwriting team member Jen Law fills in the DJ position Friday night at the studio.
Image by Erin Westover
Radio K underwriting team member Jen Law fills in the DJ position Friday night at the studio.

Around 80 University of Minnesota students interested in volunteering at campus radio station Radio K toured the studio Thursday during the Open Studio Tour, proving that, as it says on the Radio K
poster, “Radio is not dead.”

The event attracted a substantial number of students looking to become involved in the stationâÄôs programs. Alex Hamberger, outreach manager and volunteer coordinator, said the turnout was “unbelievable.”

“We had no idea weâÄôd get this big of a turnout. It was much greater than I ever could have imagined,” said Hamberger, who has been working with Radio K since July. “There are a lot of opportunities to get involved with Twin Cities music.”

Potential volunteers toured the stationâÄôs departments and learned about programs and events with which they could get involved, including the Culture Queue, a variety show that airs Saturday mornings.

Cristeta Boarini, a junior at the University working with Radio K, said Culture Queue changed in January to encompass arts and culture rather than strictly hard news. “[Contributors] find the Twin CitiesâÄô really interesting, juicy events and report on them,” Boarini said.

Aisha El-Huni, a fourth-year student who transferred this year from Morris, was part of the group of students touring the station. The communication studies major said she had heard about the station within her first few days on campus and was considering volunteering, especially for Culture Queue.

“It should be fun,” she said.

Volunteers can also become involved with the stationâÄôs specialty shows, which showcase a specific music genre for two hours at a time.

Such shows include Rude Radio, which delivers reggae and ska music, and Out of Step, which features punk, garage and hardcore.

Radio KâÄôs marketing department, where students form street teams, attend shows and volunteer in other events, is another opportunity for involvement.

“We get the word out,” Marketing Director Alex Gaterud said of the department.

Radio KâÄôs disc jockey program teaches aspiring DJâÄôs the tools of the trade. Hamberger said volunteers would learn the policies and practices of the station in a six-week training program.

An application process and shadow shifts are involved. The next opportunity for the program will be in November.

Freddy Noble, a communications major transferring from the University of Kansas, toured the station to learn about its programs. Noble said he was part of a late-night show at KJHK, the University of KansasâÄô campus radio station.

“I think radio is a blast. ItâÄôs super fun,” said Noble. “The biggest thing for me is finding new music.”

Hamberger is a junior at the University and is a music major interested in ethnomusicology, which he described as the study of music in culture. He echoed NobleâÄôs sentiments, saying heâÄôs “constantly seeking out new music.”

The volume of interested volunteers may be proof that many students feel the same way.

Hamberger said he expected around 50 students to remain in contact at the station and 30 to make up a core group of volunteers.

“[Radio] brings together a lot of like-minded people,” he said.

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