Only two things stand between COCC and a fully operating radio station — student support and $20,000.
The Central Oregon Community College media arts club received a construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission for their own radio station on March 26. This permit allowed the college to have a low power FM radio station, named KXBC Extreme Bobcat Radio on 102.5 LPFM, operating from the Bend campus.
With a spring 2015 deadline, this year the club has begun fundraising to raise the $20,000 needed for equipment,
The club, founded last year by COCC speech professor, Jon Bouknight, and COCC students is currently seeking COCC and Oregon State Cascades campus students to lend a hand with fundraising, grant proposals and meetings with COCC administrators and donors.
“We’re going to need volunteers to help us plan,” said Junnelle Hogen, president of the club. “The more we have on board, the more effective we’ll be at getting the work done.”
While a final budget is still needed, Bouknight has estimated that it will cost nearly $20,000 to launch the station. This is expected to pay for a broadcasting studio, production studio, computers, start-up expenses, content and music licensing fees, and broadcasting equipment. With the FCC license and construction permit in hand and a donated signal from the Joyce E. Coats Trust, Hogen asserts that plenty of equipment is still needed.
Students are also encouraged to get involved now to have maximum input on the future content, style and running of the station as it is developed from the ground up, according to Bouknight.
“I want anybody,” Bouknight said.
From media enthusiasts to DJs and business majors, there are areas where everyone can excel and apply their talents and majors. Eventually, the station will be required to broadcast for a minimum of 12 hours per day. Eight of those hours are required to be original programming.
“For our original programming hours we would love a variety of programming content. We’d welcome news, music, sports, comedy, you name it” Hogen said. “This is an excellent opportunity for students and faculty to get involved and use the airwaves as a means of expanding their own interests.”
Due to tighter FCC regulations over radio content, the radio station will not be solely run by students. Instead, it will be run out of a COCC academic department. However, because of this, Bouknight hopes to eventually offer radio-specific courses and course credit or internship credit to students who participate.
To Bouknight, the radio station is an “essential” way of giving students a voice and getting them involved.
“The college administration also sees it as a plus because it’s a way for students to get connected,” Bouknight said. “It’s hard to stay connected and it’s hard to feel part of anything.”
For more updates on the COCC media club and how to get involved, contact Jon Bouknight at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelli Pangle | The Broadside