University News

Radio Station Gives Students Hands-On Experience

March 30, 2015
Author: Alex Homer
Category: Academics

Students in SUU's radio station, Thunder 91Thursday night rolls around, and for most students at Southern Utah University, that means making final preparations for the school week and looking forward to the weekend. But for students with Thunder 91, it means having a chance to be on air with a radio station and gain valuable experience.

“None of the students at larger institutions are allowed on their radio station,” said Collin Longhurst, a theatre major at SUU as well as the production director at the Thunder 91 radio station. “The station at larger institutions is all professionally run, but here we have the chance to get our hands dirty.”

Students run all talk shows on Thunder 91. Longhurst and Kyle Birnbrauer, a communication major at SUU and the music director at Thunder 91, currently host the “Night School” show, every weeknight from 5:40 – 7 p.m.  Other shows air throughout the day starting as early as 7 a.m.

“What other club is going to give you this big of a voice?” Birnbrauer said. “It gives you an outlet to be heard.”

Along with running the radio station, the club also participates in several events around campus and within the Cedar City community.

Most of the members of the Thunder 91 club are communication majors, but students from all majors are encouraged to join.

Longhurst joined the club as a theatre major and went on to say, “Originally I wanted to get into voice acting, so that’s why I went into theatre,” he explained. “A lot of voice actors get their start in radio. The more I got into radio, the more it seemed to click.”

If students are worried about joining the club due to lack of experience, they shouldn’t be. Birnbrauer joined a year ago with no radio experience and is now running his own show and is the music director, something Birnbrauer said is easy for anybody to do if they want to move up positions in the club. He started hosting “Night School” just two months after he joined the club.

Birnbrauer said the simplest way to join the club and to start having your voice heard on the radio is to join the communication radio class, COMM 1560, but is not required.

He reiterated the sentiment that experience has been the largest benefit to him in being in the club and that hands-on experience is what separates SUU from other universities.

“It’s good to get outside of the classroom and do something that’s not school,” he said. “It can be viewed as a job whether you want to do radio [for a career] or not. It’s hands-on experience. You’re running something, you’re creating something of your own and it gives you something to show.”

If students are interested in joining the club, they can either go to the radio station in CN 239 or contact Cal Rollins at rollins@suu.edu



Contact Information:
Jessica Young
435-865-8696
jessicayoung2@suu.edu