By Aimee Jewell–
I began disc jockeying for the U of L student-run radio station, WLCV, in fall of 2009. There was little organization in the small, dark studio, located next to Papa Johns in the SAC, but I got to play the music I wanted to play – a mix of genres that were being neglected by local stations – and that was what was important to me.
Having visited numerous college radio sites at other universities, I saw that our station was less invested-in and not taken good care of, something that still bothers me to this day. A university-run radio station should be a station that builds campus awareness, includes students, and informs the audience about the dozens of campus events that go on each week. Instead, our station was mostly neglected, unorganized, and poorly run, something that ultimately led to its demise in Fall 2012. I still meet people to this day that never realized we had a university-run radio station. Why? Was it because of the lack of organization on the administration side or the lack of university funding?
It was because of the UofL radio station that I grew to love having an on-air voice. I could suggest music, have others listen, and communicate with the audience through social networking sites. It was U of L radio that drew me to pursue a career in radio and drove me to apply at Main Line Broadcasting, where I currently work on-air and behind the scenes. I would have never realized my passion for radio without knocking on that UofL radio station door the first day of my sophomore year in Fall 2009.
The University of Louisville urges students to do what’s important to them, to create RSOs if you can’t find one you want to join, to be apart of the campus life, and WLCV had already established itself – somewhat. The studio was sound, the station was sent out via Internet Explorer (and played over Microsoft Media Player – sorry Mac users, that meant you had to download an extra feature), and there were DJs willing to pick up the slack. But we were never heard. When I first joined WLCV, the station was played over the speakers in the SAC. But as time grew, the station was silenced, and we were left wondering where the support was. There was love behind WLCV, a passion that came from students who believed in the power of music, of voice, of radio. And yet we were not heard.
With a growing local culture, Louisville has come leaps and bounds artistically, musically, and architecturally. We’re #1 on lists all over the country as “The Foodiest City,” “The Top Travel Destination of 2013,” and our local pride is growing daily. My Morning Jacket, or MMJ as many avid fans call them, has truly laid stepping-stones for many local musicians these days, such as Ben Sollee, Daniel Martin Moore, and A Lion Named Roar. Along with building campus culture, we could be supporting local acts too, giving them airtime and a way to advertise. We could be building on Louisville’s flourishing culture.
New Albany High School, found just across the Ohio River, and Fern Creek High School both have great radio stations. Each station has great content and an actual frequency that you can pick up on your radio, rather than having to drag your laptop everywhere. If local high schools have the tools and ability to bring students’ voices to life via radio signals, why doesn’t the University of Louisville?
Photo: Flickr/wot nxt