Calling all disc jockeys
90.9 The Light provides air-time and professional experience for students
Liberty University gives aspiring disk jockeys (DJs), along with students interested in radio and talk shows, the opportunity to gain true hands-on experience at the university station 90.9 The Light WQLU.
The Light is the student-run radio station, which has been located on campus since its creation in 1980 according to the official site liberty.edu/thelight. The Light began as a simple station, only reaching a few dormitories on campus, and has grown into a 100 watt station certified by the Federal Communications Commission.
As stated on its site, the mission of the station is to reach the listeners with the Gospel of Jesus Christ while training the next generation of broadcasters that will go and impact the world. The Light has regular music programing along with several different shows.
Matt Guercia, production director for the station, loves the variety of shows the station is able to have.
“We have talk shows, sports shows, late night and even a live skit show currently,” Guercia said.
All of the shows are created and run by students, giving future DJs or those interested in trying their work in radio the chance to try. Any student who would like to have his or her own radio show has to go through a process before that show can make it on the air.
Each idea for a show is first discussed and mapped out with program director, Paul Vandenbosch. Once there is a preview and structure formed, the student will record a demo. They are shown how to work the sound board and how to play songs.
“It’s good to help students gain confidence and get comfortable with what they’ll be doing,” Guercia said.
Once a student has a demo recorded, it will be critiqued to help improve the overall show. Students have the opportunity to record two or three demos sometimes, in order to make sure that they understand the process of running a show.
When the show is ready for broadcast, it goes on the air, sometimes with Vandenbosch or Guercia sitting in to make sure everything runs smoothly. Once the show is established, it is the student’s responsibility to keep it full of content and running each week.
When it comes to the content of the shows, students have a free range of options, as long as it stays within the Liberty Way.
“Students can be very creative as long as they stay in the boundaries,” Guercia said.
Students do not need prior experience or training in the broadcasting field. Once they are serious about getting a show, recording the demos helps teach them the skills needed to maintain a radio show.
“Our job is to make sure that students are learning, because everyone is not going to be a great DJ starting out,” Vandenbosch said. “But the idea is (for students) to get better as (they) go along, and to maintain professionalism as (they) are learning.”
On average there are nine different shows each semester, but The Light has no limit per semester. The shows can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours in length.
For students interested in the working at The Light, call or email 434-582-3691 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHITTAKER is a feature reporter.