Rob Quicke is an assistant professor of communications at William Paterson University in New Jersey, and the general manager of WPSC, the university’s radio station. After recently being told by a music-industry executive that college radio is irrelevant, Quicke decided to prove just how relevant college radio is. This is when he came up with College Radio Day, a day to celebrate college radio, to be held on October 11.
According to an article by The Chronicle of Higher Education, "The primary aim of the event, says Mr. Quicke, is to get average people to tune in to their local college radio stations and to appreciate their unique contributions to the larger culture."
Some of Quicke’s students, along with some of WPSC’s disc jockies, joined the effort to get the word out and promote College Radio Day through social media sites, email, over the phone, and by creating a website. Their efforts have worked. So far, around 240 college radio stations from 42 states, Canada, and Jamaica will be participating in the event, as well as the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, College Broadcasters Inc., the Broadcast Education Association, and College Media Advisers, according to the Chronicle article. Several bands, even mainstream bands such as Fall Out Boy, Coldplay, and Flogging Molly, have sent in their endorsements, along with autographed memorabilia, to promote College Radio Day. All things considered, this is shaping up to be a major event.
College radio stations have been a staple of college campuses for decades. Focusing on non-mainstream music, collegiate sports, and local news, these radio stations are a way for colleges to express themselves in their own unique ways. College radio stations are generally funded by donations and grants, but the poor economic condition in the U.S. has led to the decision by some colleges to shut down their stations and sell their FM licenses. Quike hopes that College Radio Day will not only show the importance of college radio, but also encourage people to support their local stations and help to save them from being taken off the air. According to the Chronicle, Quicke also plans to begin the College Radio Fund, a non-profit, corporate and donor-fed fund that can be used by college radio stations for promotional concerts and events.
Fueled by a love of college radio, Quike refuses to stand by and watch as more and more colleges sell off their licenses and shut down their stations. He, along with the students working with him, are doing all they can to save college radio. The wave of those participating in and promoting College Radio Day has created a positive outlook for the future of college radio.
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