Protecting one another has become of paramount importance on college campuses, especially in clubs where equipment is shared by several students.
The campus radio station, WIXQ, is no exception. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was unclear what direction the station would go. As decisions were made to do hybrid scheduling for the fall semester, and bring some students back to campus, decisions also had to be made about how clubs were going to be run. The faculty advisor for WIXQ, Dr. Lowery Woodall, was hard at work trying to figure out how to keep his radio students safe.
“I take the safety of my radio students very seriously, and I consider them my little cabal of Millersville kids,” Woodall says.
Part of this work included talking to other radio advisors that are in the PASSHE organization.
“While all of us are doing mostly the same thing, it had to be taken into account that WIXQ is not included in the curriculum, where at other colleges, radio is included,” Woodall says. “A lot of latitude is being given to universities, and I’m just trying to roll with punches as they come. I want to make sure that the students are enjoying themselves, and all I can say right now is that the university is open, and allowing us to run the station.”
Another piece of this work was making sure DJ’s and station council members were having their voices heard in this process. Woodall says it was important that restrictions were appropriate but also that the students had a voice in the process of creating them.
Some of the restrictions for the fall semester were typical in our new world, such as wearing masks in common areas, temperature checks and making sure all of the equipment is
wiped down before and after shows. Some of the restrictions were major changes for WIXQ, such as not allowing DJ’s to be hired out for campus events, no live events, and closing the longue down for the semester.
“I even bought supplies out of pocket because (while making these decisions) it was so unclear if they would be university provided or not,” Woodall adds.
The restriction against congregating in common areas was a bummer for many DJ’s and council members, as lunch at the radio station was a major part of station camaraderie, but it was still understood as appropriate. Alicia Garges, who is the program director and a DJ says that she is “glad that the organization is working to keep us safe, and that the restrictions are overall very fair.” However, things can always change
“It is important to see the restrictions as a living document, and that they could always change,” says Woodall.