Another attempt at establishing a student-run radio station at UTSA is being made by technical communication senior Claudia Loya and public relations senior Brandon Johnson. This attempt is different, however, because rather than trying to start as a full-fledged broadcast station, the club hopes to begin as an online entity.

Loya said that it started as an idea for a project and then it turned into a club. Loya added that while only 30-some students have come to meetings, the Facebook group currently boasts over 300 members.

Johnson said that the station is planned to launch during Homecoming weekend, Feb. 19-20, as an online live-stream. Using the online medium, explained Loya, forgoes the issues associated with airwave broadcast, including the acquisition of broadcast equipment and petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use of an open airwave. The FCC regulates use of broadcast frequencies to ensure stations do not overlap and interfere with each other, so all new stations must first clear with the commission before they can broadcast.

The club is looking for private sponsorship to raise funds for the station.

“It would be awesome if we could get sponsored by Clear Channel or another radio station,” Loya said.

Loya and Johnson said they have also reached out to the communication department within the college of liberal and fine arts (COLFA), but the office has refused to fund previous attempts at a radio station.

The university has been wary of university-sponsored student media, as reflected in Chapter Five, Section 3 of the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures, which states “[s]tudent publications at UTSA shall be independent student enterprises. The university shall not provide any student publication with financial support, editorial assistance, printing or other facilities.”

The students are receiving help from assistant communications Professor Seok Kang.

Kang is the former faculty radio sponsor for Arkansas Technical University in Russelville, AR, and hopes his experience will help this new attempt at UTSA radio find more success than the last.

Kang said that funding is the biggest obstacle, and by foregoing FCC regulation the station will save between $3,000 and $30,000 in fees.

“The main focus of the station will be community betterment and student experience and not profit,” Kang said.

The club is also going to great lengths to expand student awareness of the group, including eye catching posters with startling catch phrases such as “Defeat the Nazis!” on a bright orange banner hanging in the galleria of the HSS.

“We’re trying to put together a pageant-type show where the winner gets a show on the station,” Johnson said. The club has already begun putting together programming for the show.

“We’ve got a local artist show, sports show, politics show,” Johnson said.

Member Albert Sanchez, a senior studying photography, said “I’m all about introducing people to new music.”

Other students are getting involved in the club to get experience for the real world.

“My brother is trying to start up a station in the professional world, and I thought I could learn a lot doing this,” club treasurer and mechanical engineering sophomore Andrew Kaluza said.

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