The announcement that Lander University was introducing a new campus radio station has given substance to the observation, "If you build it they will come."
In late September, Dr. Robert Stevenson, chair of Lander's Department of Mass Communication and Theatre, sent an e-mail to students, faculty and staff inviting those interested in volunteer positions with the radio station to submit applications. "I was flooded with responses," Stevenson said, adding, "I heard from 20 to 25 people within minutes after my message appeared."
The new broadcast facility, which uses the call sign 1610AM - XLR, is a low-power radio station whose signal reaches listeners within a two-mile radius of Lander's Carnell Learning Center, where the antenna is located. Programming will also be available online at LIVE365, the most popular Web radio host in the world with more than 6,500 online radio stations.
Unlike commercial broadcasters, Lander's radio station does not require a Federal Communications Commission license because its low transmission power limits the range of its signal.
Stevenson has imposed a strict behavioral policy requiring those who appear on-air to use appropriate language, including standard English grammar, and to represent Lander in a professional manner. "Broadcasting on our radio station is an earned responsibility and should be treated as such," he said.
Those who volunteer to work at the station will be placed in positions on the air and as producers and writers, while others will be given technical responsibilities.
Paul Crutcher, station manager and broadcast and emerging media specialist at Lander, described the station's programming as an eclectic blend of music, news, sports, weather, campus events and concerts. "The programming is meant as a public service to our campus and those who listen in the community and online, including alumni and parents."
Another benefit, said Crutcher, is that parents of international students and those who live in other states will be able to hear their sons and daughters on the air by accessing the station on the Internet through www.LIVE365.com.
Lander President Daniel Ball is excited about the new addition. "The station is part of the university's learning and enrichment experience. It will be a learning laboratory for our mass communication majors and a source of entertainment for students."
Ball also described the station as another source for publicizing information about Lander's academic programs and activities.
The station is broadcasting from a temporary studio in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium until renovations are completed on the campus Media Center in the Carnell Learning Center.
Most of the station's broadcasting equipment was a gift from Don and Peggy LaDuke, of Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick. LaDuke, a former broadcaster and radio station owner, donated items valued at $8,000, including three microphones, a broadcast console, equipment racks, audio mixer, amplifier, recording equipment, earphones and more.
Stevenson said LaDuke's donation spared Lander the expense of having to buy the equipment and made it possible for the station to be put on the air at least a year ahead of schedule. "It was an answer to our prayers," said Stevenson in describing the donated equipment.