One of the main activities I got involved in during my first year at uni was the radio (which you may have found out from my previous posts, https://derbyunilhss.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/dale-day-to-day-of-a-historian/). But what I never fully explained was my story of the experiences I’ve had through the student radio.
Even before I had come to Derby I had heard that about the number of different things I could get involved in. A few of my friends had joined their student radios and had great experiences through that, and so I knew that I wanted this as well.
In the end it was a friend off my history course who had previous experience on the radio that got me involved. I turned up to the first members meeting not knowing what to expect, and quite afraid of all these people suddenly wanting me to join up as soon as possible!
I went along with it, and before I knew it we were live on air! My friend basically took us through the first show, with me nervously speaking into the mic every now and then, trying not to come across as too shy. We did everything you’d expect from a student radio station. We played as many songs as we wanted, talked about anything we thought people would enjoy listening to, and in our downtime thought up cheesy jokes (my friends’ unfortunate speciality).
The excitement from our first show was high! Pretty much after that I tried to get involved in any way I could: I was part of the marketing team which meant thinking up how to get our name out there through events and stands in the atrium. However this just wasn’t enough for me so I joined the news team as well! This came after Christmas, but I immediately knew it was where I belonged in the radio. I quickly got trained up on how to write and record our very own news. After that I would go into the studio for a couple of hours every Tuesday morning to create my very own news reel.
Throughout the year we held different events, each more exciting than the last. We would regularly attend the open days, and as a member of the news team I would be interviewing any form of celebrity that came to the university (including designer Sir Paul Smith!). However there are two particular highlights of my first year in the radio that stand out to me.
The first was the 24hour broadcast the radio hosted. I volunteered myself as a member that would complete the full 24 hours (in aid of Raise and Give week), and in doing so apparently volunteered myself to shave my head once we reached a certain amount of raised money. As you can guess from the picture above, that amount was reached.
The second highlight was election results night. Every year the SU hosts their own election, obviously resulting in a night of results. The radio were asked to cover this event, with a live broadcast from the academy bar, with myself and a small team being down on the floor with a portable mic grabbing interviews from anyone we could! It was a long night, people were enjoying themselves all around us (on a side note, this was also the night that Derby won the varsity competition against Northampton), whereas we were frantically running around grabbing brief interviews with the electors.
In my opinion it was these two events which lead to me being awarded with ‘Most dedicated member’ at the end of year radio awards, along with me and my co-presenter being awarded with ‘Most improved presenters’. What a first year!
Now I’m the Head of News for our new brand, Phantom Media, and the rest, as they say, is history!