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There’s no other way to say it:  Delgado’s campus radio station needs money!  We’ve put a “real” radio station on the air, but much of our equipment consists of hand-me-downs from commercial stations. And, we need to upgrade our gear and pay for ongoing expenses like required licensing for our webstream. Why should you care? Why doesn’t the school just pay for its own equipment and licensing?

That question is easy; there’s no money for such things. Higher education in Louisiana has been cut and cut and cut again. Faculty and staff have been laid off; programs have been cut, and spending repeatedly frozen. The truth is, the college gets the lion’s share of its funding straight from tuition and fees, and those dollars go to pay salaries and supply classrooms. And, while a small portion of student fees have been used to help fund the purchase of the transmitter, antenna, and other necessary equipment, that portion is not enough. That’s why we’re asking for your help.

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So, why even embark on a project that will cost money the college doesn’t have? The Local Community Radio Act of 2010 mandated the FCC open up a filing window for non-profit educational entities to apply for a Low Power FM (LPFM) license. It took three more years before that filing window opened–the first such opportunity in over 13 years! Thousands of schools, groups, churches, and agencies applied. Delgado was fortunate to be granted permission to build a LPFM station–so far, one of only nine community colleges nationwide to get a coveted FCC LPFM license. In essence, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 

WXDR DJ Ron Rich at the 1970s vintage Wheatstone Console

WXDR DJ Ron Rich at the 1970s vintage Wheatstone Console

Now that the station is on the air, Delgado students can get the kind of hands-on broadcasting experience that webcasting lacks. Many longtime broadcasters got started in college radio; it isn’t always a stepping stone to fame and fortune, but it does teach future broadcasters about the ethical, technical, creative, and financial aspects of working in the media. Further, the station serves as a conduit through which the college can give voice to the wonderful diversity of people and programs that make up Delgado.

In the spring, WXDR-LP will broadcast play-by-play coverage of our nationally ranked Dolphins baseball team, as we continue to air music created by Delgado students, faculty, and staff, and to carry programs not offered anywhere else.

How will your donation be used? To upgrade our 1970s vintage on-air audio console, to upgrade microphones and microphone processors, to replace worn out computers, to expand our music library, and to cover our ongoing expenses like paying for the required license for Internet audio streaming.

Whatever you can spare–$5 to $500–will go directly toward building and growing the station. Please take a moment, and check the DONATE button and help keep WXDR-LP on the air!

Thanks for reading, and thank you for your support!