BYUSA president Dave Johnson optimistic about radio station


    By Rebecca Wickstrom

    A student-run radio station is speculated to be up and running at BYU this winter semester, just as BYUSA President Dave Johnson promised.

    Johnson and Vice President Sam Glanzer ran for election last April with a platform to develop a campus-wide student radio station. Since then, they have been working with administration towards that goal.

    “We want to up the level of communication to students,” Johnson said. “Right now the only way to get any information to students is to put up a poster or hope that someone at the Daily Universe will find something newsworthy enough to write an article about it.”

    Johnson”s first attempt to sell the station idea to administration was unsuccessful.

    “They thought that radio was a good idea, but wanted facts and details about how it would be used, what students really thought and expenses,” Johnson said.

    Johnson set up a radio committee where he serves as co-chair with Dave Randall, managing editor at NewsNet. They chose students from different disciplines to serve on the committee that meets weekly.

    Ryan Holdaway, a senior from Orem, majoring in business management, belongs to the radio committee. He worked as a local disc jockey for the past seven years and has played music at EFY dances in the past. Johnson approached him because of his knowledge about choosing spiritually centered music.

    Holdaway said he is excited to be involved with the student station because it will give students a way to express themselves in a controlled, non-offensive manner.

    “We”re trying to set up something that will last for a while and start a tradition,” he said. “Anytime the students have another means for expressing themselves, it adds to school spirit.”

    Selling the idea to administration and students is a daunting task, Holdaway said. But Johnson remains optimistic.

    “I honestly believe the administration will see numerous and varied benefits and will help students run a student-run radio station,” Johnson said.

    The idea has already attracted some students who want to be involved.

    Eric Hansen, a freshman from Evansville, Ind., and his friend Jeff Cullimore, a freshman from Seattle, Wash., recently joined the radio committee.

    “The actual inspiration to talk to Dave [Johnson] about the radio station came from the attempt of my roommate and I to start a radio station from our dorm room,” Hansen said.

    Unfortunately, because of building codes at Deseret Towers, the students were not allowed to have an antenna on the roof.

    “Since we had a little experience with radio stations, considering that we had purchased some equipment and gone through certain legal procedures before, we were able to put together a 13-page proposition to give to Dave Johnson on how to get a radio station started and our desire to help him do that,” Hansen said.

    Hansen and Cullimore were immediately inducted into the committee. Hansen was impressed to find out how much the committee had already done.

    “My personal take is that I think [the radio station] will be done well within the school year,” he said. “My hope is that it comes to fruition by the beginning of winter semester.”

    The committee is still working out details about frequency, dissemination to students and Sunday play.

    “We are in the process of finding out what students want,” Holdaway said. “Like other college stations, it will be eclectic programming — a variety of music, not just alternative or country.”

    As far as Sunday play is concerned, no standards have been set.

    “I don”t see any reason why Sunday programming couldn”t happen — one of the aims of a BYU education is spiritual enlargement,” Holdaway said.

    Johnson doesn”t understand the criticism that has surfaced because of the delayed start of the station.

    “I wonder what they are criticizing,” he said. “If they are saying that radio is not here yet, they are right. But there are dozens of students doing hard, good work for it.”

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