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HomeEducation'Beyond just academics:' What Mohawk College's radio station has to offer

‘Beyond just academics:’ What Mohawk College’s radio station has to offer

Have you heard of INDI 101.5? It’s Mohawk’s very own radio station, located at the college’s Fennell campus.

INDI 101.5 gives students in programs such as Radio & Creative Content and Journalism an opportunity to gain hands-on experience.

Mohawk student Kyle Chambers is enrolled in his second year of the Radio & Creative Content program. He said his experience working on the production of INDI 101.5 is preparing him for his future career.

“What I want to do post-graduation is be an on-air host and eventually be a radio sports talk show host,” Chambers said. “I’ve learned a lot more about how to speak on the radio, how to manage time on the radio, and how to talk more naturally on the radio.”

Marie Cassidy teaches courses in the Radio & Creative Content program and the Journalism program at Mohawk. In addition to her role as a teacher, she is also INDI 101.5’s operations technologist, meaning she is responsible for making the radio station run smoothly.

“I’m also what would be called the secretary of the corporation for the Mohawk College Radio Corporation,” Cassidy said. “It’s a wordy way to say that I take care of the CRTC license.”

A Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) license is required for a radio station to broadcast to the public. In her role of secretary of the corporation, Cassidy ensures that everyone involved in INDI 101.5 is following broadcast rules and regulations.

“I’m responsible for making sure we don’t break any rules that would put our license in jeopardy,” she said.

In addition to INDI 101.5, Cassidy runs Mohawk’s online radio station, Ignite Radio.

“That’s where our first years in the Radio & Creative Content program learn how to do radio,” Cassidy said. “It is incredibly safer to have a non-CRTC licensed radio station for people to learn on, because you don’t have the ramifications to the license if people make a mistake.”

Chambers agreed, saying that starting to develop his skills on Ignite Radio in his first year was helpful.

“Ignite definitely helped me with INDI,” Chambers said. “On INDI, you’re actually on a live radio station, and Ignite you’re online, so having that practice did help me.”

Not only is INDI 101.5 an opportunity for students in broadcast related programs, but it’s open to anyone in the community who wants to apply to host a show.

“What’s great about the radio station is it goes so far beyond just academics,” Cassidy said. “Anyone in the community can apply to host a specialty show on the radio station … they go through an application process, and I go through and I vet each of the shows and see if they’re a good fit, and see collectively if they help serve the diverse community we have in Hamilton.”

Those who tune into INDI 101.5 can expect to hear a variety of content including alternative indie rock, newscasts, student-run shows and community-run shows. Cassidy said the content of the station’s community shows evolves over time depending on who applies to be a host.

“We have a blues show, we have a kind of jazz variety hour show, we have a show that’s entirely in Polish, so that serves a diverse population,” Cassidy said. “It all depends on what’s available at the time as far as people wanting to generate content, because these are all volunteers.”

Those who are interested in getting involved at INDI 101.5 can email Cassidy at marie.cassidy1@mohawkcollege.ca for more information.

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