KSTM airwaves buzz with student talent, but reach for larger audience

KSTM airwaves buzz with student talent, but reach for larger audience

by Sarah KellerStaff Writer

Simpson College’s radio station, KSTM plays a wide variety of music and is trying to get the word out to the community that it’s on campus for people to appreciate.

KSTM is a student-supported, volunteer-run radio station. Students can volunteer for DJ hours and play whatever music they choose.

“It’s pretty loose, you don’t even have to play music if you don’t want to,” sophomore Meagan Gamble, music director for KSTM said. “Anybody can have a show where you talk about your dog for an hour, like that’s cool. As long as you don’t curse, I think we are pretty much good with whatever you want to talk about or do.”

Seniors Anne Christians and Andrew Wingen broadcast “The Eclectic Curve,” a show based off of an independent radio station that they heard in Minnesota. On their show Christians and Wingen play a lot of indie, alternative and independent music.

“We specifically have college DJs, your fellow students playing the music you want to listen to, and it’s just, you know, whoever wants to come up and play music can,” Christians said. “Basically, it’s very laid back, it’s very fun.”

Another DJ is sophomore Megan Cook, who, with her roommate sophomore Karmin Stonehocker, present “The Ugly Orange Couch.” On their show, Cook and Stonehocker play a variety of music such as rock, alternative, indie and “Screamo.”

Cook also likes to play some local bands from her hometown to promote her friends’ bands. Cook hopes to one day go into the music business so she decided that being a DJ would be a good way to share her interest in music.

“I love being a DJ,” Cook said. “I like being able to get music out to the public that isn’t Top 40 or mainstream, and of course, get the word out for my friends’ bands. It is just a time during the week when I can chill out with a good friend and listen to music at the same time, and it is a fun opportunity to be involved in something on campus.”

Anyone with an interest in hosting a radio show can participate.

Gamble decided to apply for the music director position because she thought it sounded fun and has a large interest in music, but she does not plan on doing anything with radio or entertainment for a living.

According to junior Courtney Davis, station manager at KSTM, there are about 25 to 30 DJs that either have their own show or have a show with a co-host.

The shows are usually in the evening and DJs often send out E-mails encouraging people to listen. There is music played off of a computer around the clock, so even when there is not a show going on, there is still music being played on the station.

Freshman Kirk Ford has a show with his roommate, Devin Siestra, called “Mutt and Dutch.” They play a variety of music from the ’60s to the ’80s consisting primarily of classic rock, blues and oldies.

“When DJ’s have shows, they tend to play the music they enjoy, so depending on the show, listeners can get a little bit of everything,” Ford said. “Because KSTM isn’t exactly well listened to, we’d like to get feedback from students with ideas about promotion or what would build their interest in the station.”

The broadcasting range for KSTM reaches all of Indianola, but no futher. Anyone with a radio can listen to the station.

According to Gumble, one of the reasons the broadcasting range does not reach very far is the fact that not very many people listen to the station.

“I don’t think people really listen to the radio station because I don’t think people know that we really have one and not a lot of people have radios surprisingly,” Gumble said. “Find a friend and listen to the radio, it’s a good time. More people should listen to KSTM.”