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Listening Upsteam on the daily

Renee Sogueco, ’Doah Staff Writer
February 20, 2013

'Doah photo by Renee Sogueco

‘Doah photo by Renee Sogueco

Many students have heard of the radio station at S.U., but they are probably unaware of what goes on behind the door at Cooley Hall. Its very history and purpose seem to mystify students on campus.

“[Nathan McDowell and I] were just hanging out one night, and we decided it would be cool to have a radio station. So, I didn’t take it too seriously. It would be a cool idea, but it would never happen,” says current programming and content manager Haden Olmsted.

The idea took hold of McDowell, now an alumnus of Shenandoah, and he ultimately brought it to life. Along with Jake Stover, Curt Lockhart and Daniel Kelling, McDowell created a business plan for the station in the spring of 2011. What started out as a school project quickly became the springboard to obtaining funding, legal documents and permission. After all the business dealings were squared away, they made decisions on what equipment to use, how they were to conduct the broadcasting and who was going to fill which roles. S.U. Upstream Radio then officially began broadcasting online in the fall of 2011.

Upstream typically plays music from the indie and alternative college rock genres. For the most part, they play music that people don’t hear on mainstream radio stations. Although the music played tends to be considered more “hip” by this generation, the plan of broadening students’ music tastes has actually worked against them to a certain extent. Students generally want to listen to the same top hits found on traditional radio stations.

“The whole point is that station already exists so why would we do that? That’s the point. We’re just trying to offer different products to students on campus. Hopefully, when they tune in, they’ll listen to something they haven’t heard before that sparks an interest,” says Olmsted.

Upstream runs from noon to midnight on weekdays. Scheduling during the weekend is more sporadic, and often shows run late.
However, freshman Jaxon Schwab is optimistic about Upstream’s potential. “It’s building up this year. Me and Michelle [Tran] are working on getting the name out more.”

S.U. Upstream Radio is easily accessible by going to the campus website and clicking the clubs and organizations tab. Their own tab on the page can be found there, which students can then use to freely listen to new and different bands.

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