You’ve seen the news reports and articles: the Delgado campus radio station needs money, they’ve got permission to build a “real” radio station, etc. but, why should you care? Why doesn’t the school just pay for its own equipment?
That last question is easy; there’s no money for such a project. 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 will be 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.
So, why 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–one of only seven community colleges nationwide to get a coveted FCC Construction Permit. In essence, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Once the station is on the air, Delgado students can get the kind of hands-on broadcasting experience that webcasting lacks. Many longtime broadcasters–myself included–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 will be a conduit through which the college can give voice to the wonderful diversity of people and programs that make up Delgado.
When WXDR-LP hits the airwaves, the station will be able to broadcast play-by-play coverage of our nationally ranked Dolphins baseball team, 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 buy a transmitter, antenna, Emergency Alerts System (required by the FCC), and several other pieces of equipment necessary to begin broadcasting citywide. If our fundraising is successful enough, maybe we can even replace our 1980s vintage audio console!
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 at the bottom of the page and help make WXDR-LP a reality!
Thanks for reading, and thank you for your support!
Dolphin Radio Faculty Adviser
This preceding is an editorial that reflects the views of the author and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Delgado Community College, its faculty or administration.