If Rob Quicke has his way, all radios will be tuned to their local college stations on October 11 for the inaugural College Radio Day. “The aim,” says Quicke, “is to get people to listen to their local college or high school radio station on the day and hopefully stay listening.”
British-born Quicke, an assistant professor of communications at William Paterson University in Wayne, first heard college radio in 1992 when he studied on a scholarship at William Jewell College in Missouri. “I got involved with its station, KWJC, and fell in love,” says Quicke. When he returned to Oxford University, he helped launch Oxygen FM, the first college radio station in the United Kingdom.
Quicke conceived of College Radio Day in response to recent closures of college stations by financially pressed universities. Quicke, who serves as the general manager of William Paterson radio station WPSC 88.7 FM, argues that college radio is an important training ground for media students.
“Think of all the future generations of alums working in the media who will simply vanish,” he says. “It is ironic that colleges, who often encourage their students to ‘find their own voices’ as students, would effectively silence such voices.”
On College Radio Day (collegeradioday.com), nearly 200 stations and counting will showcase their best programming, along with a keynote feature, “College Radio in 2011: Its Past, Present & Future,” and news bulletins.
Quicke acknowledges that college radio can be “scruffy around the edges and a bit raw and unprofessional,” but that, he says, “is its charm.”