WHUS Radio is one of many Tier III student organizations adapting to the unprecedented remote conditions of the fall semester. According to General Manager Aidan Brueckner, the organization hopes to increase student engagement and recruitment, lend equipment to students for remote production of radio shows and podcasts and work toward building a platform for marginalized voices.
“We wanted to make sure that our statement was not just empty words, but a promise that we could keep,” Brueckner said in a Sept. 2 Instagram post. “As such, the WHUS Board has been working behind the scenes on a handful of projects that we hope will provide our community with a stronger platform that they can use to make their voices heard.”
The post outlined a new mission statement for the broadcast station that includes “fostering a diverse and open environment that works to promote content from all cultures and creators.” The post also discussed how WHUS wants to generate more diverse and collaborative content while promoting a transparent and inclusive environment. Its last point was to change and improve upon its recruitment methods.
In an interview with Brueckner, he said WHUS wants to host a public forum in which they ask the community what sort of content they wish to see from the organization and provide them with feedback. This forum will take place on Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m., with the link being published on WHUS’ social media @whusradio ahead of time. In an effort to amplify marginalized voices on campus, WHUS has also reached out to cultural center directors in order to better collaborate and assist each other in their objectives.
Some additional ideas WHUS has are externally running their training classes and adding a new page to their website, which would allow students to submit written work, visual art or music. There is also a podcast in development that will address social justice topics. Members of the community can learn more and give their feedback at the aforementioned public forum on Sept. 14.
Brueckner also mentioned that recruitment was previously focused on getting an on-air show through a three-hour training session which was then followed by shadowing. He admitted it wasn’t the most efficient way of doing things, so the organization is placing more emphasis on its various committees.
“We’re going to shift our attention towards our committees, which are basically mini clubs we host where people can come through and talk about new music, or learn about podcasts, or even travel and announce UConn sporting events,” Brueckner, an eighth-semester digital media and design major, said. “In particular, departments like [Talk] and [News] will really benefit from having more voices that we can help amplify. And then if we are able to get people on the air, that’s even better.”
Due to the remote circumstances in which we all must work under, WHUS has allotted money for the purchase of laptops, CD drives and microphones so people can produce radio shows and podcasts remotely. Additionally, training guides have been created to teach people how to make shows using programs such as Audacity or Adobe Audition without needing access to WHUS’ studio space in the Student Union.
WHUS’ membership spans not only across the student body, but also the surrounding community. During the spring semester, WHUS had about 70 people making shows on a regular basis alongside podcasts and their news segment, Husky Nation News. Roughly half of those 70 people are community members, some of whom have run their shows for decades. According to Brueckner, there are roughly 20 people consistently making shows.
Because of safety restrictions, WHUS’ fall concert, Mischief After Dark, won’t be taking place as it has in the past, but WHUS does have some plans for alternate live streams or Instagram takeovers by local artists. Brueckner said the organization is also working on setting up a Discord server, planning game nights and potentially a Minecraft server.
Anyone who wishes to get involved with WHUS can visit them at the virtual involvement fair next week. on Sept. 10 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., where members of WHUS, including Brueckner, will be available.