Iím a freshman, so Iím not all that sure what Iím going to do. But hopefully a political
science major. I participate in the club tennis team and I like to work out, jog and so
forth. Iím not into all that much else.
Iím from Lexington, Kentucky and we have a pretty good college radio station there,
WRFL, and I used to listen to them a lot. I found out that XDU is pretty much the same
premise, which I wanted to get involved with...I trained my first semester. When I used
to listen to WRFL at home I used to think, yeah, Iím going to do this in college. They
pretty much leave it up to the DJs...I donít see six playlist songs an hour as much of a
restriction at all. Plus itís shelves full of CD's where you can just pick any song. It's
pretty open. I think there's a lot of bands or types of music that I would probably have
never heard of otherwise. I think it's a good thing overall. There's some interesting
mixtures of rock and hip-hop or jazz and hip- hop. It's mostly the cross-genre type
things that I wouldn't hear otherwise.
It just seems more of a community thing than being so associated with the university. It's almost more of a Durham community station than a Duke University station. One thing I know is that a lot of people I know that are students don't particularly like the station basically because it doesn't play what commercial stations play and so forth and the more mainstream stuff. They somewhat pin the blame on the fact that there arenít a lot of students there. They think if there were more students at the station it would sound more like what they want to hear. But I don't know if thatís a correct correlation or not...I wish they would try to listen more because most people I hear opinions from haven't turned it on but once or twice. And the thing is there's such a big variety of stuff you can hear based on whose show you're listening to. They just happen to turn to one person, one DJ that happens to have a different taste than them, and that can turn them off to the whole station.
It might be a good idea to maybe start up some more specialty shows during mainstream hours that have more student concern, more of what students want to hear. There needs to be some way that students can feed back to the station, I think. Most people just sit back and say "Oh yeah, the station sucks." We have no way of hearing about that here. A lot of people don't actually [know about it].
A lot of people comment, "Why do you bother? Cause no one's listening to you." It's frustrating...it's got to be a lot worse for people who've been here for a while, because for me I don't see it as so bad because Iím still new. It's good practice and all. Of course by now Iím starting to get a little frustrated. But in the beginning, it was great because if I messed up, who cares.
I wouldn't meet anyone from Durham, or Chapel Hill, anyone from outside the school if it weren't for XDU, just cause Duke's such an offset location. But Iíve met several of the DJs who aren't students. That's really interesting for one part. That's how I see it in the community, at least for myself. As stepping out of Duke. A friend of mind was talking to his friend at Princeton who plays Dave Matthews all the time - they play what the students want to hear. That's what they consider college radio - basically fitting the concerns of the students. And then look at places like here and it's basically an educational thing: show the students, show the community things they wouldnít hear before. I don't know of a really clear cut definition. I think the former has taken the more common definition. I think it's more of what people think when they think of college radio. Especially when they haven't been exposed to something like this. And Iíve even noticed that ďcollege radioĒ has been mentioned as a genre of music and it's usually used along the same lines as modern rock and alternative, or whatever they're calling it now. Iíve never been able to understand what those terms mean.
Iíve had to think - what to we do? We take a budget, we don't have commercials, we don't bring any money in, we lost a tower...what do we give back? We play music, that some people are really to and some people really arenít. So where does this fit in in the larger picture? Iíve always seen it for the educational purpose. I always tune in. A lot of people turn on their radio in their car thinking, "That song I heard the other day was really cool, maybe it will come on." But when you turn on XDU, it's like, "Well, what are they going to come up with next. What can I hear now that Iíve never heard before that's going to be really cool." That's the way Iíve always looked at it.
This is definitely...Iíd probably say this is the best experience Iíve had. It definitely can't be compared to anything else. For one thing, the people I know here aren't people Iím going to pass on campus all the time, they aren't people in my classes and so forth. It's like a different world all together when I step into XDU or when we go to the functions or so forth that have been happening. Iíd say there's definitely an XDU community. Iíve found it pretty welcoming. Everyone's been real open to me, it seems. All in all, Iíd say this is kind of my own thing. It's set up your own club in the span of a two to three hour show.