Our society of the month for February was (drumroll)... Brookes Radio!
When the current committee took over Brookes Radio, they recognised potential in a society that was rapidly declining. With their immense efforts in the face of material, financial, reputational and organisational challenges over the past year and a half, they have undergone a complete transformation, and will be leaving the society in a vastly improved situation, which will pay off for many students to come.
The situation was partially due to equipment becoming rapidly outdated, often rendering them unable to go live due to severe technical issues. Also, lacking both organisation and social spaces for involved students to convene, the core purpose of the station was largely defeated. “We believe that our hard working members deserve a comfortable and professional environment in order to produce great content,” says Carl Harris.
Improvements began with changes to web presence, host sites and streaming services, allowing students with little to no experience to host their own shows, and making it easy for people anywhere to tune in. The society rebranded and launched online, legalised with PPLUK and PRS, entered business with SubTV, and joined the SRA (the national Student Radio Association, who facilitate tracking progress among other student stations and hosting events for students interested in the industry). They brought members together, garnered interest and enrolled further members, and found time to offer new and improved support and training for both new and existing members.
The committee held a successful fundraiser, and pitched to Brookes Enterprise Support, who awarded them with funding. The recent total renovation of their space included a completely new outfit: redecoration, refashioned equipment, DJ stands, headphones, acoustic treatment and 24-hour access. The new appeal has encouraged members to invite local musicians and guests, and they have since been contacted by BBC Radio Oxford and other local businesses.
“As of today, we have 54 presenters, and a consistent schedule that operates 4-11pm, Monday to Friday every semester, which can be tuned into worldwide,” writes Reuben Turvey. “Not only are we providing the infrastructure for enthusiasts to practice, but we are also digging a path directly towards industry professionals. It is fantastic to see how many people are interested in the work we are doing, and hearing our member’s improvement has been really inspiring. While we are immensely proud of this, our ambitions have not halted. We would love to get the funds together to pay for a new mixing desk before we leave.”