By Brock Mackinnis, Will Kamps, Thomas Henbeck, & Elsie McElroy
Students are regaining their voices and are in control! After they went defunct for years, various student-run media organizations are making their return to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus. The organizations in question are the campus student-run newspaper, The Fourth Estate, and the campus student-run radio station, the newly announced Radio GBX. While it’s not a media organization, the Phoenix Media Hub that is coming is sure to help give students their voices as well.
Professor Justin Kavlie for Communication and media at UWGB is excited about the new experience this media hub will offer the students. “The new Media Hub will provide more opportunities for students to create what they want and need to be competitive in today’s media landscape. I hope that the Media Hub will provide opportunities for students to expand their storytelling capabilities beyond the video medium and within a larger media ecosystem – such as through multimedia websites, podcasting, or games.”
Announced as part of the 2021 renovations, the Phoenix Media Hub is being built and renovated in the Instructional Services area of campus. It is currently unclear as to when it will be ready for student use due to the ongoing construction as well as shipping delays that many around the country are experiencing. The Media Hub has areas that will be available to students and staff of all majors but will primarily benefit Comm. students and engineering students. There will be a refurbished studio which will benefit students taking classes involving video production of any kind.
After not being on active campus for an extended period of time, the campus radio station is returning as the rebranded Radio GBX. Professor Bryan Carr has been handling everything so far, and, in his words, he is “responsible for building the station out to get it operational.”
When asked why the station was gone for so long, Carr explained that it was due to a lack of a clear succession plan when the dedicated student workers for the station graduated in 2017, which was one of the major contributing factors. The name was announced at Comm Week after being put to the vote by students in the Communication department. Along with its new name, Radio GBX is getting a fresh rebranding for its image and content as well. Carr described the station’s musical vibe as “a mixture of cutting-edge alternative rock, hip-hop, and pop with the idea that it will be music you probably won’t hear anywhere else (though there may be some fun throwbacks and hits too).
The purpose of the student radio station is to give UWGB students hands-on experience that they can use when they leave the hallowed halls of college and enter the workforce. “The hope is that this space will be one where students can practice their skills and build a portfolio of work to enhance their opportunities in the professional space – quite simply, to get those jobs, you have to demonstrate you can do those jobs,” said Carr. The station will be 100 percent student-run, with a prospective launch date of late Fall 2022. Carr said that there will be auditions and training for the jobs, but there is no final date due to details being up in the air. More information will come at a later date.
The Fourth Estate is the premier choice for students who want to work on their writing skills or experience a student-run newspaper. The Fourth Estate is overseen by Professor Joseph Yoo from the UWGB Communication Department. Yoo feels that The Fourth Estate is a way for students to polish their writing and newsgathering skills. Yoo also felt that “…our student writers may not only have news gathering and news writing skills but also learn interaction skills. They may meet many people and interact with other student writers, so before getting a job (after graduation), such experience will be valuable.” For now, Yoo is focusing on recruiting people to write for the Fourth Estate and rebuilding it step by step. With a major goal for next semester being to “publish some UWGB athletics and art/culture stories mainly.”
It is a great time to be a UWGB student with the return of these major parts of a campus culture that should surely make for a more enriching college experience for the students.