Even with everything shutting down as a result of the pandemic, CHSR, UNB’s campus radio station, hasn’t stopped entertaining the student body with broadcasts 24/7.
“We’ve had to make changes to the way we do some things, but our ability to broadcast has never suffered,” said CHSR station manager and radio host Erin Bond.
CHSR programmers and volunteers have been volunteering/producing their programs from home, and a few other things have had to change at the station.
“We’ve had to shelve a few things, like our annual Live in The Lobby series, and Sessions. We also could not partner with local music festivals like FLOURISH, Living Roots Festival, FestForward, as we’d usually do and give performers studio time or their first on-air media experience.”
Also, the station’s physical space has been closed to its members and volunteers since March 16th.
“CHSR secured a grant from the Canadian Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) over the summer to purchase recording equipment we can loan to our volunteers who do not have their own, and all member training and meetings have been conducted over Zoom.”
“We now have a digital music library that programmers have access to from their homes which gets updated regularly with the new music that is sent to CHSR,” said Bond.
Currently having the largest music library in Atlantic Canada, CHSR have made preparations for when volunteers can safely return and these include: sanitization stations at the main entrance and the entrance of the music library, silicon covers for shared computer keyboards, individual mic socks for each programmer, and a requirement to bring their own headphones, among other things.
A few things have also changed on what listeners get entertained with.
“New segments include a daily COVID-19 and local news update by STU journalism student Aaron Sousa, and Positive Songs for Pandemics; a regular segment by B Street host Elaine Belle, who introduces you to a positive song and includes an explanation to help you get through this pandemic. Both of these segments are aired during The Lunchbox, our daily noon-hour program hosted by Mark Kilfoil,” said Bond.
As CHSR marks it’s 60th anniversary in January, Bond believes the station is still making a difference in the community.
“CHSR is public radio in the best sense of the word,” they said. “We provide information and entertainment that is generally an alternative to mainstream, corporate-controlled media, with a special focus on local New Brunswick music. As CHSR turns 60, I’d like to believe that we’ve been making a difference every year since we launched.”