If one were to turn on the radio and listen to WSLR 96.5 Sarasota Community Radio on Saturday nights, one might hear anything from surfer punk to electronic music. The nighttime slot dedicated to New Radio New College can be described as none other than “eclectic.”
“That’s probably true,” thesis student and New Radio show host Zane Plattor said. “When I bring people in it’s very eclectic. What I end up playing is house music, because that’s what I would want to hear if I was driving on a Saturday night. The only thing you can’t do on WSLR is you can’t play anything you might here on a commercial radio station.”
Plattor and thesis student Kay Saffe, both hailing from Miami, were inspired by the University of Miami’s college radio station and decided to explore the history of New College radio stations through an Independent Study Project (ISP) two years ago. They found out that the NCSA owned the license to WSLR until 2009, creating a connection between the radio station and the college.
“We kind of realized that we have a contractual association with WSLR,” Plattor said. “WSLR started on our campus and we kind of realized we have a radio station already. They have to have a student on the board, a student on the programming committee, and they have to give preference to student programmers.”
The ISP led to the first show of what is now New Radio New College in May 2013, hosted by Plattor and Saffe.
“Ideally what New Radio New College is, it’s just like a slot for New College kids that can kind of be rotating,” Plattor said. “It can be anybody that can go in and program as long as they’re a student and they’re trained.”
Due to lack of student involvement New Radio has only been given a time slot once a week. “If we had actual student involvement, it could be a large part of student programming,” Plattor said. “I feel like students want to get involved, but get intimidated because they don’t really understand or they kind of ask me how to get involved and they don’t really have any idea how they want to get involved.”
Today, WSLR is nestled in downtown Sarasota within close proximity of its New College roots, and continues to grant student internships and provide a community space.
“WSLR is a really, really badass place in general,” Plattor said. “It’s just a place that cares a lot about community, and they care a lot about creating a voice for the community.”
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Want to listen to NCF’s radio station?
Tune into WSLR 96.5 to catch New Radio New College on Saturday nights from 11 p.m.-1 a.m.