After a year of radio silence due to the pandemic, one student revitalized a media organization that expresses campus life in audio form: UCCS Radio.
This semester, station manager and DJ Caitlyn Branine reintroduced radio to UCCS, making it possible for students to listen to the UCCS Radio station across campus or get involved in its production.
“The station’s purpose is to help students who are interested in radio broadcasting, creating their own podcast [and] DJ shows. It’s to give them practice or experience to see if they like doing [radio],” Branine said.
The station also advertises events, clubs and organizations, as well as generally informing students of campus happenings. In between some songs on the station, commercial breaks play to accomplish this purpose. UCCS Radio airs on their website.
“I spent all summer rebuilding [UCCS Radio],” Branine said. “There was nothing I had to work with. I had to rebuild it all from scratch.”
With the help of her father, who owns his own wedding and party DJ company, Branine learned how to use software, cultivate music choices, create commercials and find podcast ideas and hosts.
One show host at UCCS is Jess Haag, who hosts “Better, Louder, Faster,” a podcast that discusses topics surrounding music culture or history every week.
“I’ve been a music lover my entire life, so wanting to do a show where I further explore the history of music was really a no-brainer. I like to learn about different events, people and subcultures in my free time, so I thought why not take it to the air,” Haag said.
There are evening shows, after-hours study music and random shuffle songs throughout the day.
At the beginning of the semester, the radio was lacking student engagement.
“No one knows we exist, so I had to go to all the events to promote us and get people to know that we exist,” Branine said.
During Clyde’s Kickoff Week, Branine did not have employees yet, so she attended tabling events alone to promote the radio and vacant positions. During Disorientation Week, UCCS Radio hosted the Concert on the Lawn with Absofacto, a singer who gained fame from TikTok.
“Counting it all up, I went to, like, 10 events those two weeks,” Branine said. “I was just exhausted afterwards, by the eighth or ninth event.”
The organization now has new employees along with a “relaxed environment.”
“[Branine] is really great. She is always interested in the topics I bring in and is always engaged,” Haag said. “We have a lot of fun in the studio in between recordings.”
Now, UCCS Radio is preparing to curate events and continue to promote the radio to get it “back to the way it was before the pandemic.” That is, the past UCCS Radio that won over three intercollegiate awards and was nominated for the best online college radio station. In the future, UCCS Radio plans on continuing their trajectory to become a well-known presence on campus.
“I am really glad [Branine] is rebuilding the station and I am so excited to see where it goes. I encourage everyone to really check it out,” Haag said.
Students can tune into UCCS Radio through their website.
Sound system for UCCS Radio. Photo by Taylor Villalpando.