How Rowan Radio is Adjusting to COVID-19

The Rowan Radio logo. - Photo courtesy of Rowan Radio, 89.7 WGLS-FM

Rowan Radio is back on air but with new precautions. More than 30 people logged into the station’s first Zoom meeting of the semester on Sept. 17 to listen to the radio’s new COVID-19 guidelines.

“We are taking every precaution we can to keep people safe,” Station Manager Derek Jones said at the meeting. 

Rowan Radio is following health policies by allowing only two people in a room at a time. Along with wearing a face mask, students are required to use their own headphones and microphone widescreens. Gloves are also available to those operating the soundboard. 

“The biggest difference about this semester is the lack of sports programming,” Jones said. 

Due to the pandemic, sports like football, soccer, and basketball have had their seasons canceled. However, the station is encouraging members of the sports department to interview players and coaches. 

“We have created new sports podcasts that will give students an opportunity to get their name out there,” Jones said.

The station conducted a two-week virtual training session for new members. Students who complete that session will continue their one-on-one training at the studio, after which they will take a written test and shadow another studio member. After that, they’ll be ready to go on air.

Kayla Santiago, the 20-year-old digital station director, is a co-host for “Third and Long,” a podcast that airs every Wednesday. Santiago and Sports Director Gary Erdelyi talk about the NFL, and fantasy football and make game predictions. They do the podcast at the Rowan Radio studio while wearing masks and sitting six feet apart.

“I think they’re doing a great job at keeping the students safe,” Santiago said. “They are making sure everyone follows the guidelines.”

Santiago, a junior double majoring in sports communication and media and journalism, has been a part of Rowan Radio since her freshman year. At the end of her sophomore year, she became the station’s digital media director and created all the content for their social media. She also makes teaser videos to promote shows or giveaways. 

“I want to be a sports broadcaster, and I get real broadcasting experience at all the Rowan games thanks to Rowan Radio,” she said. “They treat us as professionals and give us the tools to succeed after college.”

With COVID-19 cases still climbing on campus, some students are hesitant to attend in-person classes and meetings. However, Santiago doesn’t think students should let that stop them from getting involved.

“There are a lot of clubs that are still happening virtually that students can join if they don’t want to come to campus,” she said. “Getting involved is the best part of the college experience.”

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