Trent Radio: Get involved with your student airwaves

I’m shy. The idea of trying to engage a bunch of strangers in conversation scares the Dickens right out of me – Oliver Twist jumps rudely from my mouth, and with a ruddy English charm asks: “Please, sir, can I have some more?”

Not literally, but literarily. It’s an awkward metaphor, and I suppose the point is I’m a pretty awkward guy, and yet had no problem getting involved with Trent Radio, despite my expectations. Turns out it was the place for me, and it could be the place for you, too.

I thought a student owned and operated radio station would be filled with hip young attractive people who comb their beautiful hair with stardust and spin vinyl records on their finger-tips.

But no, while like all people Trent Radio programmers are attractive to taste, at Trent Radio you can only really be cool as an individual.

When you’re in the radio booth there’s nobody to check you out – nobody to tell you your glasses are crooked or your clothes don’t quite fit or that your bum looks very nice in tight jeans. It’s just your voice.

Trent Radio, mostly made of mashed together student voices; a collection of distinct individuals, pioneering their own sense of self through garage rock, chip-tunes, or bad comedy.


If you want to be cool as an individual, be in with the out crowd, find yourself artistically weird but fervent, or are passionate but ill-defined in your interests, Trent Radio 92.7 FM is yours for the taking.

If you think you might have interest in radio, even a fuzzy, ‘that’s kind of neat, I guess’ interest, then there are a million easy ways to get involved.

In this article I shall cite only three. You can guess at the other ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven.


A programmer is someone who comes in on a weekly basis to do a radio show about the topic they choose.

This is most of the people who are involved with Trent Radio. Do you want to do a show about jazz? About your pet parrot? Your last horrible relationship disaster? Your love of sexist pre-war lounge-lizard crooner musicians? If you’re passionate about it, we want to get it on the air.

All you have to do is explain to us this topic on a Programme Proposal – an application for programming, and hand it in before FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12 at NOON to Trent Radio House, 715 George Street North (the corners of Parkhill and George, just down the street from Sadleir House) if you’d like to get involved.

It’s okay if your idea is not quite as fully developed as ‘pre-war lounge lizard crooner musicians’. If you’re having trouble filling out your programme proposal, come talk to us on Clubs & Groups day on campus Wednesday September 10, 10 to 4, or come out to any one of our Programme Proposal Workshops, designed to help you fill out your proposal in time for the 12th. They’re happening everywhere around town.

Programme Proposal Workshops:
* Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 2:00pm at Sadleir House, 751 George St. N.
* Wednesday, Sept 10 at 7:00pm at SWB BL (Bata Library) room 402
* Thursday, Sept. 11 at 11:30am at Sadleir House, 751 George St. N.
* Thursday, Sept. 11 at 3:00pm at Trent Radio House, 715 George St. N.

If you already know what you want to do – the minority of people, certainly – then just hand in a hardcopy of the Programme Proposal on or before the deadline FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12 AT NOON at Trent Radio House, 715 George Street North.


If you’re super-keen, there’s also the option to become an Operator.

An Operator is someone who oversees programming, typically lording themselves over a shift of about 5 hours each week, acting as den mother and benevolent tyrant, making sure the broadcast is still running and the coffee flowing, helping out fellow programmers and making Trent Radio a community.

Usually the people who become Operators have already been programmers, but this is only an issue of confidence. If this is something that interests you (even if you’ve never been in Trent Radio before) then I encourage you to get involved.

That said you should probably at least stop by to know the lay the land under your petty dictatorship.

To be an Operator all you have to do is come out to the Operator’s Meeting & Social, Friday September 12 at Noon.

Radio Drama

Each year at Trent Radio we write, act out and produce a tonne of radio drama, which is a lot when you consider how much sound weighs.

If you want to want to submit a script of radio drama that you’ve written (even if it needs editing), or be a voice actor (even if you’ve never acted) or help with production (even if you don’t know sound effects from blowing your nose…which could be a specially effect for blowing your nose, or a space ship) then get involved.

All you have to do is email Jill Staveley at to say you’re interested, or look for the event on the Trent Radio Facebook page, or strop by Trent Radio House and pick up an application form.

Applications for participation in radio dramas are due Monday September 15.

Finally, I offer the following three reasons why you think maybe radio might not be right for you, and the reasons why you are wrong.

A, You’re a first year student. You are no more nor less capable than anyone else. Just go for it.

B, You’re afraid of technology, or just afraid in general. Where technology is concerned we give you some training, and besides if you are capable of checking your email then you can do more advanced stuff than is needed in the radio booth. You are capable.

C, You think we’re too cool. Well, please go read the beginning of this again. The point is: don’t be intimidated. Do you have an interest? Then you have a topic. And here is the airspace.

Hand in your programme proposal FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12 at NOON to Trent Radio House, 715 George Street North to get involved.

Happy broadcasting.

About James Kerr 0 Articles
Sometime in the 1980s young James Kerr placed a peanut butter sandwich in his parent's VCR and was transported to a magical world where he was taught by long-dead ghost druids the secrets of community and radio waves. Returning to this world he became an arcade champ, dungeon master, and perhaps most relevantly the Programme Director of Trent Radio 92.7 fm. His parents had to clean the peanut butter out of the VCR.