Special thanks to Matthew Rusak, General Manager, for answering the questions!
Tell me a little history about your station and where your station is now?
The station was started in the fall of 2007 by a handful of ambitious SCAD Atlanta students. We are still a very young station but we have learned a great deal in seven years. Our reach continues to grow as does our diverse staff of DJs which includes students, alumni and faculty.
What sets your station apart from other college radio stations?
SCAD Atlanta Radio is Internet streaming only which we consider to be one of our strengths. Our voices can be heard anywhere and at anytime around the world! I think there is also something to be said about a college radio station run by art school students. I am constantly amazed by not only their individual artistic talent, but by the energy, the creativity and the innovation that they bring in support of the station and its success. Artists work from a desire to communicate and I think that benefits us well to have an entire staff who are eager to share themselves and engage the listener. I like to think that SCAD Atlanta Radio broadcasts will inspire our audience too giving clear context to our station’s tagline, “SCAD Atlanta Radio — music for the right side of your brain.”
Why did you choose to work at the radio station?
When I was first looking to apply to the SCAD Atlanta campus, one of my priorities was to be sure that they had a radio station. I had wanted to be involved with college radio for a long time. The school I had transferred from did not have one. I loved music and I especially loved discovering new music and I felt I had to share that love. I was also hoping that it would give me a sense of belonging since I would be moving so far from friends and family. Still, I was very nervous about joining up once I got here. I felt I would be seen as too old or that my music tastes were uncool. I continued to listen to the station and go to radio events on campus but it was a whole year and a half before I even applied to be a DJ. It’s my only regret since starting at the station that I didn’t begin sooner. The DJs and managers were so friendly and supportive that I realized my fears were unfounded. I instantly felt that this was a place I belonged. I continue to work at SCAD Atlanta radio so I can in turn offer that same kind of welcoming.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for your station?
Time will tell.
What’s the best part of college radio? And the hardest part?
From my perspective, the hardest part of college radio is that the students who run it still have to be students. They have to deal with the same challenges and responsibilities that any other college student must face; homework, research papers, examinations, project deadlines, financial aid, finding room for sleep and having a social life. However, knowing that students have to face these obstacles and seeing how they continue to commit themselves to their duties at the station exhibits one of the greatest parts of college radio. The students involved with the station are not here because they’re being paid to be. They do not earn a higher GPA just for being a part of it. They are not guaranteed success and fame for being a college DJ. They are here because they want to be, because of the passion they have. That is what makes being a part of college radio such a genuine experience. We take chances on unknown bands and albums because we have faith that there is always something new to discover. We are allowed to experiment and make mistakes because we are willing to learn from them. We support the success of our fellow students, not just at our own station but for all those involved in the college radio community.
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