October 19, 2015 is a day James Amaral '17 and Arden Antes '17 will be hard pressed to forget. After years of hard work and persistence JWU Live, Johnson & Wales' first ever radio station, officially launched.
Amaral and Antes met in December 2013 after they both voiced their desire to join the university's radio station only to be informed by their advisor that one didn't exist. The two Media & Communication Studies majors set out to change that, founding the Broadcast Club and working with the Student Government Association to receive approval for what would ultimately become JWU Live.
The club that started with just 5 dedicated students has since grown to include approximately 40 active members. While the station is currently only available via an online stream, Amaral and Antes strive to replicate the feel of the "real-deal radio stations" they worked at before coming to JWU. This includes following FCC guidelines and developing a station code of conduct and user's manual.
"We want to make sure the station can run without us once we graduate," Amaral explained. "And we hope being involved with JWU Live will give the students that join some real world experience that they can put on their resume."
Both Amaral and Antes still currently sit on the executive board for the station (as station manager and training director respectively), which has expanded to include marketing and music programming directors, event and production managers, a personnel director and more. The station currently airs 10 prerecorded programs that cover everything from sports to 90s music.
And there are plenty of ways to get involved that don't require hosting a show. From marketing and promotions to event planning, there are multiple opportunities for students from any major to gain experience.
Amaral and Antes both agree that getting JWU Live off the ground has been a labor of love, but all their hard work paid off in the end.
"It was definitely a process," Antes said. "But if you love what you're doing it's so much easier to stay motivated."