College Radio Day at the White House
One week prior to Friday’s College Radio Day 2015, college radio students and advisors travelled to the White House, serving as the first known delegation to represent the medium of college radio. Included in the group was staff involved with the Board of Directors for the College Radio Day organization. Staff members included Executive Director Dr. Rob Quicke, President Anthony Saia, Vice President Sean McDonald, Northwest Regional Director Nikki Marra, Northeast Regional Director Jeff Szczesniak, and Southeast Regional Director Dr. Tim Craig. Executive Director of The College Radio Foundation Lori Quicke was also among those attending the visit.
College Radio Day is an annual event that celebrates college radio stations and those that staff them. Founded by Dr. Quicke in 2010, College Radio Day aimed to serve as a way for students, staff and radio stations to stand united in the face of public radio buyouts and college radio station shut downs, according to a release. Now in its fifth year, College Radio Day and its participants have something more to celebrate: recognition from the White House.
During the visit, the students interviewed administration officials regarding issues important to them and their college campuses. These issues included college affordability, as well as the problem of sexual assault on campus. To speak about these issues, the students met and interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president and Kyle Lierman, associate director of public engagement and senior policy advisor.
Following that conversation, the group also met with Cecilia Muñoz, assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and James Kvaal, deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, to discuss the topic of college affordability. Lastly, the students met with Josh Earnest, assistant to the president and press secretary.
The students were allowed into the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House to talk with Earnest. The discussion with Earnest included the role of the media and the importance of college radio especially. At the end of the visit, the group was presented with a letter from President Obama wishing all college radio stations a successful College Radio Day 2015.
These interviews will be broadcast in the “College Radio White House Special” simulcast on College Radio Day, Oct. 2. The one-hour program will feature the students’ interviews and thoughts from their time at the White House.