Suffolk Free Radio offers insight for communication majors, gives students a place to express themselves

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Suffolk Free Radio is a student-run organization that provides hands-on experience and expertise in the broadcasting field. Shows run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and are broadcasted on the web, allowing listeners from all over the world to tune in to the hourly shows hosted by Suffolk students.

Stephen Thomas, new music director of SFR, has been involved with the organization since his freshman year, an experience that has influenced his decision to go into the communications field.

“Being involved with SFR has helped me figure out what it is that I wanted to do with my life,” Thomas said. “When I came into Suffolk, I didn’t even a major declared. I knew I liked communications, but it wasn’t until I started working with the equipment here and having my own show that I realized all the opportunities available.”

“SFR offers students an hour to pretty much relax and play the music they want to hear,” Thomas said. “We know that the radio nowadays are the same songs that no one likes, so SFR offers the opportunity to run a show how they want it.”

Students have the choice to name their show as well as choose the topics to discuss. Current disc jockeys range from talk shows, music shows, even sport shows.

Michael Peppe, SFR assistant general manager
(Photo by Dani Marrero)

Michael Peppe, assistant general manager of SFR, worked as an orientation leader in previous years and would often recruit most of the DJs during that time.

“I always used the hook that you have an hour to express yourself,” Peppe said. “Regardless of what kind of show it is, it’s your time to express your thoughts through music, talking, or anything you want.”

Heidi Walsh, general manager of SFR, shared that the club gave her useful experience for her broadcast journalism major since her first year at Suffolk.

“As a broadcast journalism major, the use of your voice is very important. For me, SFR wasn’t all about playing music,” she said. “I used it to talk about news, so it was an opportunity for me, even as a freshman, to have that experience early on. Usually students have to wait a few years to wait to get a hands on training.”

“From a personal standpoint,” Peppe said, “the station has always been there since my freshman year. This is like a second home to me, where I’ve met my best friends. You see people grow bonds, and it’s something that I enjoy watching.”

Members of SFR receive training on how to handle the equipment available at the station, a valuable skill for students in the broadcasting or communications field. No prior experience is required, and new DJs are typically added during the first week of every semester. To join SFR, visit their office located in Donahue or via email at [email protected]  To listen to the shows, tune in to suffolk.edu/radio.

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