Radio club gets facelift and new location

Everyone has dreamed about being on the radio, introducing all their favorite songs for the rest of the world to hear. 

For Castleton students, this dream just got a little closer to becoming reality. 

“I want to be able to encourage people to play the sort of music they want to play,” said Hunter Smith, president of the radio club. “I want to cover as many genres as we can for sure. Country, pop, rap, metal, classic rock, whatever people are listening to. Politics talk, sports talk, culture talk, really anything!” 

The radio club, newly named Radio 343, was started by a group of Castleton seniors with a passion for creating content in a modern way, sparking the move from traditional radio to a streaming service. This club plans to stream their shows via Twitch instead of the Castleton Internet Radio station on TuneIn. 

But this isn’t the only change for the club. 

The broadcasting studio will soon move from the Campus Center and take the place of the Convergence Lab in the basement of Leavenworth Hall. The space will be comprised of both an “on-air” side for live streaming and an “off-air” podcasting lab, according to Media and Communication Department chair Michael Talbott. 

“I think the move will make the radio station really vibrant,” said Talbott. “If people see it every day it will bring it to their attention.” 

Castleton senior Will Buck agrees. 

“Comm students are comfortable in their environment,” he said. “I think the new studio being located at home will draw some great content out of everyone.” 

When the idea of moving the radio station to Leavenworth surfaced around a decade ago, the plans of having it close to home were dashed. Unfortunately, the roof of Leavenworth could not support the broadcasting tower needed for a radio station. With the move to Twitch, this is no longer an issue because no tower is needed. 

“It is going where it was meant to be,” said Talbott. 

“This platform is a perfect opportunity for the members of the Media and Communication department to get some practice and maybe gain a following before being sent off into the real world,” Buck said. “This form of media will be without a doubt entertaining, and easily accessible for their peers to tune in to.” 

But this club is not limited to students in the department. Anyone interested in hosting a show is encouraged to bring their vision to life and work to create a show where they are free to openly express themselves and play whatever music they wish. “Since we aren’t monetizing, the free speech should be fairly wide open,” Smith said. “All that’s really required for a show to be viable, is a spot to be open on the whiteboard and a DJ who can come have a sit-down with me and hash out their idea with some sense of sincerity, as opposed to just a hypothetical.” 

But it’s not just club members who are excited about the reboot. Students are ready to tune in and hear some unique shows. 

“It’s awesome that the radio station had a revival! I think if the tunes were right, students would really eat it up,” said Mariah Hazard. “I’m here for it!” 

With the move of the studio and radio revival, this group of students hopes to set a strong foundation for the many creators who come after them. 

“As the president now,” said Smith, “I want to leave it in good hands for the next generation, if you will, and have some fun this spring with people that are into it.” 

Club meetings will take place every Friday at noon in the new studio space. 

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