By Nick Spitz:
As of 2018, there are 411 licensed college radio stations and one can only assume that there are countless other unlicensed or online only stations to add to that number. Some may try to call radio outdated or accuse a college radio station an antiquated use of school finances, but after being around WXJM for only a short time the importance of college radio has become clear. While I can only write about what I know, it is fairly safe to assume college radio stations all over the country offer students much more than just a soundtrack to study, just like WXJM.
One of the most overlooked parts of being a member of college radio is the physical safe space it provides you; you won’t be able to find a much more accepting space than our little corner of the radio station.
The general manager of the radio has gone to great lengths to make the space somewhere you can feel comfortable enjoying the shows, getting work done, or previewing music that may eventually make it on to the radio! The importance of a safe, judgment-free zone cannot be overstated for college students still looking to find places they can call home.
The radio also offers a community! Our own station here in Harrisonburg has a community chat with over 300 members.
Joining radio could be a great way to make new friends and find people with interests or personalities similar to your own. WXJM also works closely with the local DIY artist's scene, so by being involved with college radio, you get a chance to branch out and enter a very interesting and accepting community.
Finally, college radio allows people to find their voice during one of the most uncertain times in life.
Being a DJ on a college radio station is a phenomenal way to get to know yourself, to find your speaking voice and become more comfortable with public speaking. Whether it is mumbling the radio’s official I.D. at the top of the hour or having fun conversations on air with your friends between songs, college radio allows you the freedom to explore and discover yourself in a comfortable and accepting social space.
It is never too late to get involved, whether you're located here in Harrisonburg or at one of the thousands of universities across the world, inquire about your local college radio and tune in today!