By: Ricza Lopez (Buffalo State College)
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It’s a typical boring afternoon with nothing to do. Your friends are either sleeping from last night’s party, working or just bumming around. You do something that you haven’t done in a long time and turn the dial on your old school radio to your favorite radio station. We as college students know that with radio stations within the area and watching programs such as MTVU that is geared towards “college music” (whatever that means) we don’t get what we want. We have to put up with hearing the same old thing on a regular basis, especially Top 40. You may have not thought about it before but college radio is something that shouldn’t be slept on. Why, you may ask? Because it gives students a voice that is out of the norm and you will not hear your typical tracks that everyone knows.
When it comes to college radio stations, it gives a very positive insight into the media world and what that particular career is going to look like. Certain colleges are known for a specific type of radio stations. One thing that you have to know however is that college radio stations can only reach a certain amount of watts, therefore meaning that it can only be broadcast out to a certain area. Another thing you have to know about college radio stations is that just like regular radio stations, they are mandated and looked at by the FCC. One very last crucial thing is that they are NOT allowed to play Top 40 music-what does this mean? Think of the most popular song out right now in any genre, you cannot play that on your college radio station unless you want their license to get suspended. The benefit of this is that, you can explore that artists’ other songs or albums that you do not hear on these other radio stations. One thing that a lot of people do not think about or take into consideration is that college radio stations help put popular songs on to the map and graduate to these big name radio stations, therefore boosting the image and possibly album sales in the future. What college radio stations also serve to do is that they focus on local artists and give them their rightful time to shine to show what they can offer to their local listeners.
Why college radio? Because as a college student, it’s something you can take pride in and call your own. Record labels and companies ship their material to college radio stations specifically because they want to be exposed, they want to get out there, but most of all, they need all the amount of fame that they can get. It’s also a good opportunity to get involved and take on a leadership position. You can review CD’s, you can make connections with people in the media world and try a stab at it at being a Radio Personality or test you true skills as a DJ by getting up on the 1’s and 2’s. For those who are in any related Media major, it’s a boost to your career, experience and degree. You can truly get a feel as to if this is something you want to take part of and make your life of in the near future.
Think of college radio stations as legalized pirate radio, the quality radio stations that should be on the map and market, but unfortunately…are not. With the regulations set forth by the FCC, if college radio stations were to go up against these big name radio stations, not only could they get more listeners, but be even bigger and more popular than their competition. Some of you may be thinking how is this even possible? Because these big name Radio Stations have to stick to a strict format playlist by the hour. College radio stations have to abide by that same guideline with the only difference and exception that they are not limited to what they can and cannot play music wise, meaning more of a musical variety for people to enjoy good music and isn’t the same thing over and over. On top of that, with the way technology is moving, college radio stations can be accessed online to listeners on a local and on a international range-you will be surprised. If you really think about it, College Radio Stations can be looked at a serious threat because they are coming on headstrong and are very promising with the programming that they give.
Being involved in college radio, you can play music that you personally enjoy and want the “whole world” to be exposed to. You can meet others that share that same musical interest as you and put each other on to something new. You can network with others and build a musical bond as well. The best thing of all, is that college radio is recognized and have their college music journals to see what the college voice is as far as music goes, we represent our own entity of young adults. The best thing of it all and take it from me, it is a hell of an experience that you cannot really get in a big name radio station!