Marble black, pink and teal background with a white type that says college radio day on October 2.

College Radio: The Bits and Pieces

By Gena Sysavath
Web Content Contributor

College radio is defined as a radio station that is run by students from a college or university. The radio show is most likely run by the students of the educational institution or include other programmers that fit in with the community that they are near.

I began to look at the history of how college radio even came to be and realized that it so much more than what I thought. College radio was started in the early 20th century. When radio license became easier to get, students across the country decided to experiment freely on-air.

As formats, content, and technology began to grow, so did the college radio. Students are beginning to make their own content and become distinctive by being on the radio.

The point of College Radio Day is to have the combined listenership of all college radios to be celebrated for having important contributions in one day. It is a day to recognize all the people who are involved with college radio– from being on-air to all the behind-the-scenes. A lot of people don’t know that a college radio is not just for the people of the college, there’s always several connections to the people in the local communities.

College radio provides a starting point for students. Students often begin off at college radio before later beginning at bigger social medias and other radios. because they decided to learn the basic with platform that wasn’t restricted but still looked at. Working at a college radio allows students to get practiced with obtaining real-world skills, such as communications and technology.

Being on staff at a college radio is like being in a small community. There is so many things that needs to be communicated to stay on air.

Before I was tasked with writing and article for College Radio Day, I had no clue that it existed. Therefore, I did not really care for what it was and what it stood for. Without any research on the college radio, I had a very loose idea on what it was. I had just assumed it was a type of day where college radio would celebrate being aired. That’s it.

Now, I believe otherwise. However, I did come to the realization that many people do not actually know what radio day is.

I tested this by sending off a snap on Snapchat, to see if anyone knew what College Radio Day was.

A snapchat that I sent to my friends on Snapchat. Image by Gena Sysavath.

I will not reveal names or what school these people go to, but I will differentiate them with their initials.

So here are some of the answers I got:

A.S., Age 14: “no but I assume it’s college news and I would maybe listen to it occasionally”

W.D., Age 22: “College radio!! It’s basically listening to updates about the school or info about clubs… music like tops hits but censored lmao”

A.G., Age 21: “Umm idk what it is lol and not sure”, “I don’t listen to radio at all lol”

B.C., Age 20: “No. Probably like announcing events or something related to the school. Making it super easy to listen to anytime and also relevant”

J.C., Age 21: “Radio made by college students right? Can be anything depending on who is running it but similar to traditional radio. Talking/music. Seeing it advertised more and what they talk about or what they’ll do would make me more likely to listen”

As I mentioned earlier, not many people know what College Radio Day is, nor what it stands for. I would hope that if you read this, you try to spread the word and have people go listen to their local college radio. Go support the local radio, you won’t know that you like it unless you listen!

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