By Kimberly Small
The recent growth of York College’s campus radio might seem like an overnight success but the last three years of effort by lead operator Bryan Graves is responsible for this apparent rise. An alumni of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Graves’ seventeen years of experience in the field has been an essential component to YC radio’s recipe for success.
The station’s inception began roughly around the time York College itself was founded. However, due to unknown reasons in the sixties or seventies, the radio fizzled out. Over the last six years, the radio has gotten a second wind.
YC Radio has found structure under the guidance of the experienced college assistant for the last three years. While Graves is a key player in YC Radio hitting new strides, he insists that this isn’t a one man operation and stresses the value of students taking part.
“I want students to have fun while learning. It’s my dream to form a small news team; a stable news program comprised of students,” said Graves.
Bryan Graves strives to one day see the campus’ radio become a pillar in the academic structure here at York College, along with other big name courses that are credited.
Of the twenty three CUNY schools, nineteen have radio stations. Of that number, York is the only school where involvement with the radio remains uncredited. This is an oversight that Graves would like to see improved upon within the next five years. All students are encouraged to stop by the dual office and radio station located in 1G06G.
Despite being an extra incentive for students in particular fields like Journalism and Communications Technology, auditions are open to anyone interested. The process is done through what Graves calls trial by fire.
Started two years ago, this routine helps students to become familiar with the ins and outs of a radio station. Allowing students to become acclimated with the procedures and becoming comfortable on the mic enables participants to know for sure if this is something they would like to pursue.
Moreover, it may lead to possible new show ideas. With the station moving more to the forefront on campus, Graves has seen a significant increase in the amount of shows YC Radio has on its roster. Now there is an average of about eight shows between 1pm and 5pm. Compared to three years ago, the numbers have tripled.
Communications Technology major and senior, Giovanni Anglan, hosts two shows on YC Radio: Black Seinfeld and Nerd New York. Like the other shows featured on YC Radio, it is all from the perspective of a college student.
“The best thing is the freedom to express my feelings on whatever topic at the time,” Anglan said, speaking on the creative liberty that Graves allows. All shows range in fields of discussion from technology, sports, music, politics, and pop culture.
YC Radio isn’t primarily a music station. During gaps between programming, listeners can hear a mix of songs playing. The variety reflects the diversity of York’s campus, encompassing all genres. Listeners can expect to be kept up to date on the latest important news.
“YC Radio is a positive beast. I like to think of it as an informational and educational highway,” said Graves.
Every month students come on air and read upcoming events on campus. YC Radio is available at all hours at ycradio.org and podcasts of shows are accessible for free on iTunes.
Arguably one of the main aspects that led to YC Radio’s emergence on campus was last year’s live broadcasts of sports game. Commentary was made available, giving audiences unable to attend a play by play account of the action taking place in real time. The first live game was broadcast from Manhattan. The most recent took place as far as New Jersey.
This type of feature on YC Radio has become so popular that Graves is already getting requests from coaches though fall sports have yet to officially begin. The semester is expected to have the same format however Graves says it all depends on the type of gear that station will have readily available to meet the demands as well as training ability for students.
The number of broadcasts YC Radio is able to cover comes down to whether or not sports commentators will be able to travel with the different teams. Facebook blasts have been created in the past as another outlet for students to tune into for game coverage.
In studio, Graves reports that the station is doing well in terms of funding. The radio station has six microphones which gives way to shows having an increased number of hosts for round table discussions on air.
Students and staff alike have been featured on the airwaves. Graves hopes visibility on campus will continue to grow steadily and he credits word of mouth from those who have been a part of the station longest for helping YC Radio to blend into the mainstream on campus. “I don’t want us to stop unless there’s a power outage,” said Graves. “This is not a job. This is an adventure.”
You can follow more of what’s happening at YCradio on Twitter and Instagram to see what the Voice of Today’s Generation has to say. You can listen to specific broadcasts on our broadcast tab on YorkPBnews.