North Texas Daily

Students hope to promote diverse music, local artists with alternative university radio station

Students hope to promote diverse music, local artists with alternative university radio station

Students hope to promote diverse music, local artists with alternative university radio station
July 08
09:00 2021

Two students are working to bring an alternative radio station to the university population in hopes of broadening students’ music tastes and showcasing local talent.  Chloë Boyter, one of its co-founders, is a recent transfer student pursuing a journalism degree with a concentration in broadcast.

A conversation about Boyter’s time as a DJ for the University of Kansas’s student radio led them and engineering senior Wasi Moin to a mutual agreement: the university could use another student-run radio station. 

“I knew that UNT had a radio station, but when I went to look at [KNTU’s] programming, I saw that it mainly focused on jazz, so [Moin and] I have since started feeling around for any interest in an alternative station,” Boyter said. “I feel like if we had two stations, UNT would be able to showcase even more student talent and get listeners up for both [stations], especially if we had them work together.”

Boyter said they recognize the university’s love for jazz but want to provide an outlet for students with other music interests. The alternative station would aim to introduce listeners to new music, as well as allow students to express their creativity by pitching “any [radio] shows they want.”

“We’re hoping for a wide variety of music tastes and people to be represented on-air,” Boyter said.

Boyter and Moin are also interested in showcasing local artists on the station. Local-specific shows and events held by the station would promote the work of Denton residents and university students to hopefully bring the artists new listeners. Moin said this programming would “help reveal more of Denton’s musical landscape.”

“So many popular artists have come from in and around the DFW area, it would be so cool to say that this radio station helped someone in their career,” Boyter said.

The alternative station plans to register as a student organization with the university to better connect to the campus community and reach a wider audience of both volunteers and listeners. Boyter and Moin are currently reviewing funding options, with hopes of being a non-commercial station or using local sponsors to keep advertisements at a minimum. The organizers hope to have the station running 24/7, although with student volunteers’ schedules the content may not always be live.   

“We really just want to have a more alternative sound station than the one that is already being provided [to students] right now,” Boyter said.

Boyter aims to have both an FM station and online radio stream air simultaneously. This would allow the Denton audience to tune in from their cars while ensuring the station is still accessible to students located far away. In the future, the station could have its own mobile app. 

A Google Form is currently circulating online to gauge listener and volunteer interest. As of July 5, there are 37 responses with 97 percent expressing interest in listening to an alternative student-run station. 81 percent of responders said they would be interested in helping run the station.

While Boyter recognizes that the answers may be skewed, as people uninterested in the station may not take the time to fill the form out, the amount of responses still makes them feel hopeful.

“We want to get as many people willing to help before classes start, that way we can get a head start on everything before applications for new student organizations open up,” Boyter said. “[…] becoming a part of an organization like this, one that can last a long time, can be so meaningful in [a student’s] college career.”

The station is looking for a variety of volunteers to fill positions including radio engineers, music directors, promoters, producers, hosts and DJs.

Ian Adair, a media arts major who has signed up as a volunteer, hopes to work as a DJ. He found out about the alternative station through the interest form posted on the university subreddit.

Growing up in Austin, Adair was drawn to music and local artists through KUTX, a station owned and operated by University of Texas, although not student-run. Adair worked as a DJ for KNTU in the fall of 2020 but felt like there was “not a lot of room for creativity and expression” nor a connection with a lot of students.

“Radio is a fantastic way to bring people together and create a community, and Denton is really the perfect place to do that,” Adair said. “[…] I just think by letting students get their own voice and tastes on the air we’d really invigorate the culture of the school.”

The alternative station has received vocal support from KNTU’s music director.

Carlos Fuentes, a graduate student in mental health counseling, said the idea was “exciting” and recalled his extremely positive experience as part of the management team of the student-run internet radio station at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“I wholeheartedly support the formation of an alternative station [at the university],” Fuentes said. “I think it being student-run would be an excellent opportunity for students to grow and develop. It would be challenging, but also a lot of fun.”

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Ileana Garnand

Ileana Garnand

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