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Grinnell’s KDIC hits the airwaves again

Despite complications presented by new SPARC policies and virtual learning, KDIC will continue broadcasting on Mixlr. Graphic created by Tess Kerkhoff.

Erin Ritter `22, the manager of KDIC, made sure that Grinnell College’s student-run radio station survived 2020.

Like many student organizations at Grinnell, KDIC relies on a transition of student leadership over the summer. Student evacuation of campus in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic posed a serious threat to this pillar of Grinnell’s student community. Because of this delay, Ritter inherited the role of station manager in the spring of 2021, at this time an unpaid position, and faced the task of rebuilding the radio station for a virtual student community.

KDIC has historically broadcast on 88.5 FM from the radio station’s studio located on the second floor of the JRC. Without access to the studio and the necessary audio equipment, the station had been unable to broadcast since early 2020.

The loss of staff due to new student employment policies for SPARC positions initiated during the 2020-21 academic year presented another roadblock for the student radio station. KDIC normally hired 10 to 20 student workers who filled positions from station managers to general staff. To recover KDIC’s status as a place of student employment, Ritter needed to develop a budget and create job descriptions for Handshake which had to be approved by the College before she could begin the hiring process and refill those empty staff positions.

Once Ritter got a budget approved by the College, she turned to finding an online platform that could broadcast students’ shows from across the country with the technology they had on hand. Mixlr is an online program that lets users broadcast live audio using only a computer’s microphone. Listeners can tune in to KDIC on the Mixlr website and even set reminders to catch their favorite shows on the air.

“KDIC is back, basically. In a different way, but still in a way that I think lets students broadcast their thoughts and music on the airwaves, whether those airwaves are actual FCC radio airwaves on 88.5 FM or online through Mixlr,” Ritter said.

There are 25 radio shows scheduled across the week with air times as early as 10 a.m. (all times in CDT) on Saturdays and as late as midnight on Thursdays. The shows cover a range of themes and musical genres, each show unique to the personality of the DJ.

Whatever your taste in music, there’s a KDIC show that covers it. “Overlooked” airs on Fridays at 7 p.m. and highlights work of Black women musicians. The hosts of “Grinnhell” (Fridays at midnight) promise listeners a diverse selection of unconventional music perfect for anyone who isn’t a music elitist.

On her show “Life is a Mixtape,” which airs on Sundays at 6 p.m., Lucia Finkelstein `24 matches music to a theme chosen by her Instagram followers. Those who tuned in on Sunday April 4 were treated to a dance party study break with a playlist curated for students gearing up for an all-nighter.

This mix promised to keep listeners awake with riot grrrl bangers from the likes of Le Tigre followed by indie rock hits from the Talking Heads.

KDIC is back, basically. In a different way, but still in a way that I think lets students broadcast their thoughts and music on the airwaves, whether those airwaves are actual FCC radio airwaves on 88.5 FM or online through Mixlr. – Erin Ritter ’22

Some shows follow more of a talk show format, featuring lively discussions between hosts. “Confusion and Delay”, which you can catch at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, is devoted to reviewing episodes of “Thomas and Friends”, the iconic children’s television show starring Thomas the Tank Engine. Obuchi Adikema `21 and Elise Bargman `21, the hosts of “Hiding in Plain Spite” (Saturdays at 11 a.m.), describe their show on the Mixlr website as “a music and talk show for spiteful, angry women and/or amateur spy enthusiasts.”

Even President Anne Harris has a show on the air: “Once and Future Grinnell”, which airs at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Those who tune in to Harris’s show will hear her interview members of the Grinnell community on topics ranging from strategic planning to what it means to be a Grinnellian.

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Nadia Langley
Nadia Langley, Editor in Chief
Nadia Langley is a fourth year majoring in history and French. Her favorite historical French quote is: "Literally I didn't say that, that's so cray," -- Marie Antoinette, 1793.
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