As Regional Officer for the South, it soon became obvious to me that upon the introduction of Lockdown many of the stations wouldn’t be able to broadcast (including my own, Radio Sonar) and that the community we had slowly been building over my time in the role might be at risk. The community within Student Radio is something that is very close to my heart. It’s also something that the more I feel like I understand the best way to go about it, the less I understand it.
With stations not being able to broadcast, myself along with a couple of other Station Managers felt that we could try to focus on improving relations in the South during this time period. It’s really easy to be involved with your own station and not have many interactions with anyone else in the region.
This is something we wanted to change for people if they were interested. We also knew that some people would be missing their friends and not have much to do in the evenings. So, we introduced a game night. I think virtually everyone during lockdown was doing weekly quizzes and I would love to tell you that our game nights were something different, but that’s beside the point. Although we mainly did the same games each week, we had the same core group of people turn up each time and despite it being a little bit awkward at first, we really started to grow the community in our region.
This is something that is really exciting given the year to come. Myself, along with 2 other Station Managers (Will Hough from Surge and Joshua Dodd from Sound) attended every week and are now very good friends. As a result, we are all very keen to do projects together for our stations. Something that might not have happened before this period.
A few weeks into our game nights, Will managed to make a breakthrough with his Students Union and sort remote broadcasting for his Station which gave us an amazing idea. If stations couldn’t broadcast, Could we offer members the use of Surge as a way of getting people who want to do shows the chance to actually do shows? After discussions with Will, it turned out we could and it was all thanks to his hard work and the beautiful people at Uniwaves. If you are reading this and you aren’t aware of Uniwaves then it is an app that is designed to make access to student radio stations easier. No more awkwardly going through websites in order to be able to tune into your favourite station. With Uniwaves, all you need to do is load the app and press play on your station. It’s beautiful really. After a quick chat with the people behind the app, we managed to talk them into agreeing to have ‘The South Region On Air’ as a station on the app. This is something that I think is really cool and has been a really interesting way of preparing for the upcoming year.
As of writing, we have 5 stations involved so far (Sound, Surge, Sonar, Pure and Stag) and as a result, all the stations are very keen to team up on projects over the course of the year. Thanks to everyone who has got involved so far, as well as a big thank you to the people at Uniwaves for being so accommodating and an even bigger thank you, to my now very good friend Will Hough at Surge for making it happen. I have no idea how the year is going to go, and I have no idea how long this project will go for but I am enjoying seeing where it goes.
If you are reading this, part of the south region and want to get involved, then please email me at – email@example.com