For the past four years, I have been volunteering at our local NPR affiliate radio station, WYSO. I have worked closely with Juliet Fromholt on her show Kaleidoscope, and gone through the Community Voices training necessary to work on production commissions for the station. Now, through the Miller Fellow Program, I have been able to work for them full time.
Antioch has long had what it refers to as assets. These include Glen Helen, The Health and Wellness Center, the Antioch Farm, the kitchens, WYSO, and arguments could be made for more. As it currently stands, we are struggling immensely to integrate these assets into the curriculum so students can use and access them. Such access would allow for curriculum developments, new collaborations between various entities on and around campus, as well as development of the tight-knit college community Antioch aspires to be.
Numerous ideas have been put forth regarding the development of these relationships. However, most of these ideas require people to overextend themselves in order to foster such growth. While this is largely unavoidable at a college with such little access to money and sustainable resources, it does not work. It doesn’t work because the folks or entities that this is required of often cannot maintain such sacrifice long enough for the program or collaboration to catch and become self-sustaining. This is evident in numerous instances regarding professors and faculty leaving Antioch for jobs and projects that require less of them for more money.
WYSO has experienced the full brunt of this, with their incredibly busy staff carving out time to teach and host events for students that want to get involved with them. This is not to say that they don’t want to be doing this or that they don’t value their connections with the students and college, it simply means that they cannot accommodate what is often asked of them while simultaneously running a 50,000 Watt radio station.
So, a large component of my job is to look into how we can improve student-WYSO connections, and create an environment that encourages students to get involved with broadcast journalism, all the while not putting too much strain on WYSO’s staff.