Published on October 25, 2016 | by Brandon Vieira Photography by Caitlin Wood
No more ‘Radio Days’ at Guelph-Humber?
GuHu Media is considering dissolving its radio branch after no one applied for the vice president of radio position.
“Radio is not as sexy as some other media forms,” Jerry Chomyn, program head of media studies and former radio broadcaster said. “I think it takes a champion, someone who is really enthused with radio and willing to put in the work for the division to succeed.”
It looks like GuHu Media was unable to find that champion this year. According to Meagan Dolmage, president of GuHu Media, the society contacted previous club members about the VP of radio position and encouraged students to fill out an application in the summer but the interest just wasn’t there. Now the position is still vacant and GuHu Radio remains inactive.
“One struggle [GuHu Media] has is that we don’t have an executive or vice president to lead new students who want to learn more about radio,” Dolmage said, “We’re still trying to come up with ideas and brainstorm new ways for students to have the opportunity to get into the radio booth and record new radio shows.”
GuHu Media has been looking into recruiting new students for its radio division but a majority of the senior media studies students had no idea GuHu Radio even existed.
According to an informal Facebook poll conducted by Radix, 25 media studies students were asked how they would feel if GuHu Media dissolved its radio branch. Three-quarters of the students answered that they had no idea that GuHu Media had a radio division.
“I’ve never really seen any posters around or heard anybody I know talk about it before,” Shelby Cockhill, a third-year media studies student said.
Megan Hutchison, vice president of GuHu TV, believes the renovations of the University of Guelph-Humber broadcasting studio and radio booth in 2014-2015 prevented students from learning how to use the equipment and is a major factor as to why the radio division is widely unknown amongst media students.
“We haven’t really had a strong radio division in the past three years,” Hutchison said. “In my first year, I was interested in GuHu Radio but due to the renovations that were going on, the vice president of radio at the time couldn’t do that much with us.”
Hutchison said there wasn’t a lot of guidance with the new equipment from the past vice presidents once the renovations were finished and students had to basically learn on their own.
Chomyn strongly disagrees and said if students want to learn how to use the radio equipment, there are technicians in the school that will hold training seminars provided students show up.
“I would refute that claim entirely,” Chomyn said. “There is nothing worse than scheduling one of these things [seminars] and having no one show up. But if there is interest, then we will definitely provide the training.”
After spending years creating the successful Radio Humber division, Chomyn became the program head of media studies at Guelph-Humber. He created GuHu Media for students to explore the media world outside of their classes. The radio division may be struggling to stay afloat but Chomyn believes there is still life left in it.
“Radio still has the potential to be a very powerful medium,” Chomyn said. “I would love to see GuHu become a functioning, real life radio station but that takes a lot of effort and that takes a lot of time. Until we find that one person who’s willing to put in the time, we won’t be able to have a hugely successful radio division.”