Petition for airwaves: KLC Board pushes for broadcasting classes

Students advocate for broadcasting classes and reevaluation of credit assignment on the board

By Meghan Zea /// News Editor

In an effort to create a greater impact on campus, the KLC board crafted a petition to push for the addition of broadcasting courses to RHMS curriculum.

The petition, written in November and December of Fall 2014, toted two main goals: creation of broadcasting courses in the Rhetoric and Media Studies department and a review of the credits board members receive. The petition has received nearly 130 student signatures so far.

Shannon Boerner (’15), former General Manager of KLC led the initiative in an effort to increase KLC’s academic involvement.

“I had this huge vision of making KLC more into an integral part of the LC experience,” Boerner said. “I wanted to have it integrated into the academic side of campus. Not only to better the station, [but] because the DJs would know more about radio but also to make the academic side more invested and not just the student side, I felt like it would be more sustainable.”

Anna McClain (’15), Co-General Manager of KLC,  also said that broadcasting courses with fewer barriers to access could be a critical development in the community.

“I think a lot of people write off radio as being a dying media form, but we totally disagree,” McClain said. “Especially with internet radio always developing and I know we have anywhere between 60-100 DJs each year and I know they are interested in at least playing music on the air.”

Boerner claims that the RHMS board review this year provides “the perfect platform for us to say this is something that needs to be investigated.”

 Daena Goldsmith, professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies and department chair, maintains that the major is at a turning point with the upcoming retirement of professor Peter Christenson and the potential to hire a new professor with a specific focus in media. While the department is intrigued by the idea of offering broadcasting classes, they may not have enough faculty or a professor equipped with the knowledge to teach it.

“[The KLC petition] is one really important, really thought out piece of information about what a good number of students would like to see,” Goldsmith said. “Part of the problem is that we are the fifth largest major on campus, with one of the smallest faculties. For us to offer any new class, we have to figure out what doesn’t get offered. We also have to think about what kind of faculty expertise we have and right now we don’t have anybody with that expertise.”

The other major aspect of the petition asked for a reevaluation of the practicum credit RHMS 244. Currently, general managers of the KLC board receive two credits per semester, while other board members receive one practicum credit per semester.

“The current assignment of credit does not line up with the format of the KLC Board,” the petition says. “The amount of work each member puts in depends on their position, the workload of events for the semester, and the amount of effort the member is willing to put in.”

 The petition proposes that the credits board members receive match up with the amount of hours they put into work. The petition also asserts that KLC is unable to pay their board members like other clubs after all of their events.

 “The increase in asking price for performers combined with the decreased number of students paying the student media fee has created a climate in which KLC carefully monitors every dollar of its budget to ensure that performances such as Sunburn can remain exciting and free for students,” the petition said.

While the petition advocates for an adjustment to the amount of credit students can earn, it may not be possible through RHMS.

“It may be that there are some types of experiential learning at KLC that connect with our curriculum,” Goldsmith said. “There may be other positions where people are getting great experience, they’re working a lot of hours, but they don’t engage in our curriculum. For us to give credit it has to be theory to practice.”

Boerner believes that LC should support the petition because of KLC’s lasting effect on campus.

“KLC has proven to be a really important part of student’s lives on this campus,” Boerner said.  “I think students showing initiative is really big on this campus and it’s important to support the efforts of our peers.”

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