St John’s radio station WSJU has grown significantly since its initial launch and has tried to expand beyond campus territory. So far, “The Voice” is only able to broadcast in Marillac, on channel 36 in the dorms and, most recently, at Carnesecca Arena.
They even have their own page on the St. John’s Web site, with a listing of all the DJs and personalities that broadcast over the airwaves as well as the schedule of the shows they have to offer. But one goal that has yet to be reached is the ability to broadcast to students and listeners outside of the Queens campus.
Other universities in New York, like Syracuse and Binghamton, have licenses from the Federal Communications Commission to be able to reach audiences abroad from their respective campuses. So why can’t WSJU extend its signal off campus?
Professor Jeffrey Weiser said that he would like the station to air off-campus, but there are factors such as finding an open radio band or getting approval from the FCC to broadcast. They also have to get the permission of the College of Professional Studies.
But Professor Weiser, who monitors the station, praised the way the students have kept the school organization running smoothly and the work they have done. “The station this year has been one of the strongest,” he said. “I am proud of them.”
Dr. Frank Brady, the chairman of Mass Communication, Journalism, Television and Film, said that the new equipment would be expensive and that it would be difficult for the University to control the type of content that goes out to the public.
The newest addition to the WSJU radio station is the web cam, where students who are on campus can see their favorite DJs in action and listen to their music. The sports/news director Reginald Bazile said he likes the addition of it. “It gives them a chance to know the personalities of the radio station and what they look like,” he said.
The camera has been operational since the beginning of the Fall semester. But the signal strength for the camera has been limited to campus as well.
The station is trying its best to explore possibilities for what can work for the station. Al Ragone, better known as DJ Derf on the Power Common Hour, said in an e-mail that the station is not giving up on its goal of trying to gain listeners outside of the walls of St. John’s.
“Even though we have been rejected several times, we are going to try our best to do our own research and find out what needs to be done to get Internet broadcasting outside of campus. We know it can be done, it is just a matter of someone listening and someone approving it. It only takes one person sometimes.”
One of the future plans that the station has in store is to broadcast into Montgoris. Ragone is trying to negotiate a deal with them so they can be heard in the dining hall all day. “WSJU originally installed an audio box in Montgoris and I am meeting with the people in charge,” he said. “If possible, we’d like to try and reactivate the equipment box and broadcast 24-7 in Montgoris.”
One of the dilemmas for reaching that goal is that the TVs in Montgoris broadcast mtvU, which was formerly the College Network. But according to Ragone, who has been with the station almost two years, they have been inactive this whole semester.
The future looks promising for the station with their newly acquired access to the Internet. If the station isn’t approved to have a broadcast beyond the St. John’s community, at least they are expanding at their home base one step at a time.