Our Fort Lewis College radio station, KDUR, has recently accepted and integrated new DJs. Students are always encouraged to apply and to submit their applications for their own radio show.
“Not many people know this, but anyone can be a DJ at KDUR,” said Chris Braun, a FLC senior and the music director at KDUR.
Regardless of a student's major, they can be a DJ, there are multiple ways students can get involved, Braun said.
At the beginning of every semester, there is a DJ application meeting that takes place on the first Wednesday, Bryant Liggett, the station manager of KDUR, said.
Students are strongly encouraged to submit an application at the meeting, to attend trainings, and to volunteer as DJs. Then, there is also the option of registering for the Radio Practicum 251/351 classes, Liggett said.
Courtney Ragle a student in the Radio Practicum class, is a double major in chemistry and English communications says that the class has many challenges, however, the class is fun and being on air is something new.
“My duties as a DJ are to read the underwritings, play music and to air the news right at five o’clock.” Ragle said. “Honestly, the only hard part about being a DJ is having perfect timing. Other than that, it’s all fun.”
For DJs, a free-forum radio station such as KDUR allows DJs to play the kind of genre of music they like.
“For example, if I were a DJ at a commercial radio station, every day someone would give me a list of specific songs that I would be required to play during my radio show,” Ligget said. “That is not what we do here at KDUR.”
“I’ve always been a music buff, I like to hear new music that’s fresh and not just listen to whatever’s on the Top 40,” Braun said. “KDUR offers such a wide spectrum of music; we always have fresh music coming in.”
However, students enrolled in the Radio Practicum are required to play only new music, while tDJs who volunteer can play any music they like, Liggett said.
“I have never told a DJ, you’re going to play strictly jazz. DJs are allowed to play any kind of genre they want and that is how they can construct their radio show,” Liggett said. “But, if they want to play music that may contain curse words, then they will get a night show during safe harbor hours.”
According to Liggett, safe harbor hours begin after 10 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. It is during these hours that the Federal Communications Commission will not take action on indecent material aired, and this pertains to music containing adult language.
Working with the college radio station has many benefits aside from sharing one’s love of music.
“Prior to working at KDUR, I was not the most outgoing guy,” Braun said.
“Working here has helped me with public speaking,” he said. “Being on the air, behind the mic, I have definitely noticed a change in the way I speak.”
In addition to developing good public speaking skills, students can also gain real world experience while working at KDUR.
“Definitely take this class because you learn a lot about certain computer programs you would not normally have access to, and also, just having the experience of working within a radio station may help you somewhere down the line whether you think it’s going to or not now,” Ragle said.
“For broadcast purposes, I’ve gained so much experience.” Braun said. “And it is definitely getting me ready for anything life has in store for me after college.”
“It is experience that can potentially help students get a job in the real world, and I have written many, many letters of recommendation,” Liggett said.