A Conversation with Jake McKelvie

Laurel Auth
You just released the album on November 6, it’s your first full length album in a while, right?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, since 2014.

Laurel Auth
Were you writing it during the pandemic? Or have you been writing ever?

Jake McKelvie
No, it was actually recorded, like, two years ago.

Laurel Auth
Really?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. So it was kind of just sit in there collecting dust for a while. And even prior to recording it. Most of the songs have been written out, you know, at least a year prior to that, in most cases with maybe one one exception. So, yeah, pretty much all the songs are, like three to six years old at this point.

Laurel Auth
Oh, my gosh, I had no idea. So I was gonna ask you what it was like recording during the pandemic, but you didn’t. So what was it like just releasing an album in general during the pandemic? Because it is weird times right now, and I know that you guys are a band who play a lot locally. And you tour a lot, huh?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of why we chose to eventually just release it digitally last month, because, you know, we, like I said, we recorded a while ago already and, you know, the hope would have been the initial plan would have been, we would have gotten physical copies made, and, you know, proper release show, and then some, some amount of touring around that time, too. And so once we finally got everything in place for that to theoretically happen, you know, then the pandemic stuff started. So, you know, everything, obviously, it’s fun on the back burner at that point, and we weren’t practicing for you know, we’re basically not practicing still. And so, yeah, we kind of just decided, at some point, well, if clearly, we’re not going to be able to do any sort of release show or anything for quite a while, so why not? This thing’s already old. So let’s just put it up, you know, online at least, and then we can just sort of get the physical stuff, you know, situated in time. But it felt less pressing, you know, under the circumstance, so. So yeah, basically, we just kind of like, put it, put it online, and just just for the sake of doing something with it, and not feeling like it was just, like, the thing that was already old to us was never gonna actually, you know, become anything. That’s what it was starting to feel like so. Yeah. So it’s been fine. I mean, you know, working out I guess, there’s nothing really to judge that against you know, it’s just like, the people that already like our band seem to like it well enough. And that’s nice. And, you know,

Laurel Auth
yeah, in my opinion, why I wanted to like talk about it at Simmons is it’s just your music is, in general, I feel like it brings a smile to my face. It’s very warm, fuzzy music. And even though your lyrics are pretty, in my opinion, pretty complicated in depth, you’re or maybe not, but from the outside.

Jake McKelvie
I’m glad it seems that way.

Laurel Auth
But otherwise, like both of your songs are danceable and fun. And I feel like that’s what people need right now. Seeing you guys live I know is a great time. Do you have plans to do a big, like post release show eventually?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, ultimately, you know, whenever we’re able to do that again, we’ll you know, we’ll do it. But we don’t have any plans just because it’s obviously everything’s very up in the air still. So I I don’t anticipate it being anytime soon. But yeah.

Laurel Auth
Yeah. And it’s also difficult because some of our favorite Boston venues are closing down too.

Jake McKelvie
I know. Yeah, I know. That’s a bummer. And I don’t know not much to watch to add to the Yeah,

Laurel Auth
it’s just a bummer. The usual the usual places like I haven’t heard about O’Brien’s update recently. But have you guys played there for sure. Right?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely like one of the kind of go to places I do. I follow Ryan, who’s like the booking guy there we’re, you know, social media pals, and I see him still posting somewhat often about just on an O’Brien’s in a general way and it’s it seems like things are still you know, hopefully on track for them to remain but that’s that’s just what I’m gleaning from like vague social media things so I can don’t quote me on that. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
I mean, the DIY scene in New England right now is something that is, I mean, everywhere, not just New England is something that is, I watch a lot because I do booking and it’s difficult to watch. A lot of bands right now just aren’t releasing anything or dropping off the face of the earth. So it’s also cool that you guys released this now. Do you have any local bands that you’ve been particularly into lately, just so I can spread the word? Any projects you’ve been hearing of?

Jake McKelvie
Geez, man, I don’t know, like I have been sort of off the radar also, just in terms of and not super on the pulse of that our drummer plays in another band called happy just to see you. I know they just put out this thing for yesterday, or two days ago, Friday was the latest band camp day and they put out this or they were featured on this compilation of local ish bands doing TV theme songs.

Laurel Auth
I saw that they did the Cheers theme song. So good.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I listened to that they did a really good job. So yeah, I mean, that band is we’ve been friends with them for a while, but I hate to like not really having an answer. Otherwise fair, but yeah, I’ve been not super super with in terms of that stuff. And it’s,

Laurel Auth
there’s not much to be with right now.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Cuz like yeah, it’s, I mean, like you said, people are sort of just seeming to fall off the face of the earth. And it is a weird thing to think, you know, when things kind of resurface, how many of those people are still going to start playing shows and being in bands, you know, to the same extent that they were previous? Hopefully, most of them like yeah, I don’t know, it is a weird thing to just be like, I don’t know how many people I know that have been involved with this sort of stuff will remain that way. You know, a year from now after having been stagnant for like, the better part of two years, you know, it’s kind of odd.

Laurel Auth
Yeah it’s, what how you think your band is going to return to normal? Or do you think Have you been writing at all still or just hanging out?

Jake McKelvie
Mostly hanging out. I don’t Yeah, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of writing or anything, but I certainly assume that our band will will still you know, be very active once we’re able to start again. Like I have the thought and I think there’s actual reason to believe this I don’t think it’s too far fetched but I like to think that we’re our band is one of those bands that just always exists you know, not not necessarily in a super prominent way but I feel like we could be that type of band where we just kind of you never break up and even if we don’t you know play constantly we’ll still we’ll still be there

Laurel Auth
That’s true friendship and I you guys definitely are a staple around here I’m I’m when I first entered the music scene in the area I’m 21 so when I was working I actually I bar tended one of your shows once at Union and I knew about you guys pretty quickly so I feel like you guys are a staple in the in at least the scene around here. I’m excited to to hear you guys play once again. And I also noticed I was looking at your Spotify and you have a ton of streams on your on your previous full length LP is do you hope that the new one is gonna just exponentially top pop it out or?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, we you know, we just got to keep keep piggybacking on our previous success was riding our own coattails to the top

Laurel Auth
your song mini monster has 83,000 streams. That’s that’s that’s pretty good. That’s a classic.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, that’s, that’s that’s been our, you know, our hit if we were to have one. That was it, I guess. But yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of like, I mean, I’ve been making occasional posts about the album, I didn’t really do a great deal of press, you know, anything. I sent a couple emails to people I sorta know saying like, Hey, here’s our new thing if you’re interested, but yeah, I don’t know, I sort of just don’t know, I’m hoping people here. You know, as however, however the word gets to them. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, like I said, I, it seems like, we have a small, but fairly devoted sort of core group of people that, you know, we’ve just become familiar with, as, you know, like, fans slash, friends, we see it shows over the years and the people I’ve heard from in that realm, you know, have had nice things to say about Yeah. So, you know,

Laurel Auth
Something I remember every time I’ve seen you, as people are always singing along with you. And that’s so fun. That’s the best energy to have at a show. So, I hope that the new album will be like that for you guys. One day.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I hope so too, I mean, it’s funny, because, you know, again, like, the songs are mostly pretty old at this, or, you know, they’re several years old. And so most of them, we’ve been playing in shows for that amount, same amount of time. And so some of them, you know, a couple people have come in saying, like, Oh, it was interesting to hear the song recorded after, you know, hearing you play it it’s on an acoustic guitar for a few years, you know, or, or just, you know, after hearing the band play a, you know, live, you know, hearing how it’s changed, you know, over the years or what have you, but, um, so, yeah, I don’t know, I, I, I guess they’re the reason I’m mentioning that just because I use some of the songs I feel like have become staples to some degree, you know, like, the Live Set. And so it’s kind of funny to sort of have these songs like we’ve been playing for years and then presenting them down the road is like new songs when they’re, you know, when they’re just not.

Laurel Auth
Well, what is your favorite not new new song to play off the new album? Would you say?

Jake McKelvie
well, I think that the first song on it is actually the, the newest in terms of like, that. The first song is called the clot the wobble, and

Laurel Auth
it’s super fun.

Jake McKelvie
Thanks. Yeah, that’s the one that was sort of written and, you know, arranged to whatever degree we have to arrange songs, you know, like, the, the, the, the latest, you know, leading up to recording. So, yeah, basically, we, I remember, when we went into start recording, like the, we had gotten together, like the day before, to do one final practice, and that song was still kind of a new song. And it was sort of a last minute addition to, you know, the set of songs that we knew we’d be recording. In that one, we were still kept we, we made like a last minute, you know, chord change that sort of, you know, had a considerable effect on like, the core. You know, the song like it was one of the one of the chords we changed, and at the last minute, and that’s just a long winded way of saying that, I guess that song is the is the least old out of the bunch you know, still still felt exciting to play to, to a degree but I think all of them I mean, you know, it’s they’re all it’s just fun to play, so I don’t necessarily get sick of playing any individual song. I wouldn’t think

Laurel Auth
How would you self describe your genre?

Jake McKelvie
Um, I mean, as just a very generic catch all term. Yeah, actually just say indie rock, but, um, yeah, I don’t know. It’s sort of like I have you. I feel like the word like I’ve used the word like goofball to like it’s got like a goofball-ness to it in this sort of somewhat silly, but

Laurel Auth
I think that’s what makes it so great. And so listenable.

Jake McKelvie
You know, bouncy to Yeah, it’s like it’s but it’s guitar music like it’s just kind of guitar rock. Music I guess, ultimately. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
Yeah. And when you tour you are usually just yourself, right? Just, you

Jake McKelvie
um, yeah, kind of became that way at some point, just purely due to like scheduling or just because I was able to more than my bandmates were so, yeah, more often than not in terms of actual sort of proper touring, it became just, mainly just me, you know, like an acoustic guitar. And then, you know, we’ll get like a, maybe a couple of weeks of full band touring in the year outside of all the weekends and one awesome things we do. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
What has been your Do you have like a favorite show? Ever? That’s gonna be my.

Jake McKelvie
Um, I mean, I don’t have I can’t say there’s like, there’s one in particular. You know, there’s, there’s a handful of sort of, I don’t know, memories that pop up just in terms of exciting, you know, they were they were fun. Because, because there is a lot of a lot of people dancing or singing rowdy. I mean, yeah, I mean, any of those sorts of scenarios where there’s, you know, a few people singing along or what have you. I mean, it’s, that is the very gratifying thing. You know, cliche, though. It may be it’s, it’s, it always feels really good. And so yeah, there’s been a lot of scenarios like that where it’s just been people. There’s a couple people that like, that’s, that’s great.

Laurel Auth
Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of people love to see you play my favorite show. I mean, I love your original music, as I’ve mentioned, but my favorite shows definitely that I missed this year where Halloween shows big bummer. That those didn’t happen. I also saw your Halloween show last year where you guys played? Like, I think you played like dad rock or something. I can’t remember.

Jake McKelvie
Oh, yeah.

Laurel Auth
Those shows in general.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We were sort of loosely. Yeah, we just sort of happened to have a handful of those, like classic rock covers in our repertoire. So we decided to turn that into our covers. But yeah, I mean, I definitely. Part of the reason he, like no particular things popped in my head is because it’s been has been kind of like, not at the front of my mind in that, in that sense lately. But yeah, I also just tend to things like that we’ll all come up with an answer. Like as I’m falling asleep. That’s the one I should have mentioned, that was fun.

Laurel Auth
Well, I mean, productivity and creativity in general, during times like this are insanely difficult. I wouldn’t expect very many songwriters to be coming up with new stuff right now. And if you are go you like, That’s hard. So I’m sure it’s all gonna sound great at the end, and I have not mentioned the rest of your band yet. So you have Matt bacon on drums. And then what is the name of your bass player again?

Jake McKelvie
Nick dhruba.

Laurel Auth
Nice. And do they help you? So do they? Do you mostly write the songs and then they come in and help you fill in the rest? Or do you work all together as a band?

Jake McKelvie
Um,yeah, it’s pretty much the case that I write the songs and then just kind of, yeah, show them then I’ll it just play it for them. Generally, you know how to practice and then they’ll just sort of, yeah, they’ll build. they’ll write their parts and yeah, fill in the gaps and whatnot. Yeah, that’s pretty much how it’s always gone. We just sort of, sometimes I’ll send like a demo ahead of time, and you know, I’ll email them a demo or something, but either that or just Yeah, just play it a couple times a practice, and then we’ll just kind of just keep trying to play it until it morphs. And there was a song.

Laurel Auth
I think that’s a great way.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, it’s I, I don’t really know of another way. I mean, I guess we, I don’t know that we’ve really made a great effort of like, writing a song together, necessarily. I guess we’ve dabbled in that, to a certain degree. I don’t, I don’t find that to be my most effective way of doing things like that. Probably just added self consciousness if nothing else. But yeah, I don’t know. We just kind of just kind of try to try to turn the scraps into a song, I guess.

Laurel Auth
You do well.

Jake McKelvie
Well, thanks. I appreciate it. Yeah, sometimes we’ll have there’s there’s been a fair number that haven’t quite made the made the cut, or will be sort of playing, you know, trying to play it and then we’ll, we’ll finish and I’ll like, in my head, I want to have this like, I’m just gonna step back and close my eyes and just kind of like, envision what the missing pieces here. And then, but it never quite works out that way. And then I’ll, you know, just kind of have this, like, I don’t really know if this is a good song, or I don’t know if this is gonna become a song for us. So I don’t know. They can’t all be they can’t all be around ones, I guess.

Laurel Auth
Yeah, they can’t. That’s true. Well, do you have anything else that you want to say about the new album or anything? Or?

Jake McKelvie
Um, no, I don’t know. I, you know, it’s, it’s there if you want to. If you don’t want to, then it’s you never have to. You never have to load it up on your computer if you don’t want to but we’re, we’ll have the physical versions floating around in the coming months. If all goes according to plan, so yeah, right. Right now, it’s just still just the digital stuff. But if Yeah, people are are hankering for the hard copy. You know, they’ll be here sooner than later.

Laurel Auth
You’ll probably released that on Bandcamp. Maybe?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then you’re

Laurel Auth
streamable on Spotify and Apple Music and all that.

Jake McKelvie
Yep.

Laurel Auth
Nice. Well, it was great talking to you, Jake.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, same here. Laurel, thanks for asking.

Food Insecurity on Campus: Episode 2

Simmons student, Molly Jean Henebury’s two-part podcast “Food Insecurity on Campus” has been nominated for “Best Podcast” at the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards. When Simmons campus closed, students were left with a slew of questions. The uncertainties for on-campus students who require residential housing were overwhelming. These students were initially allowed to stay in their dorm rooms and continued to have meals in the Fens. Students’ circumstances would change drastically as the semester carried on, moving to hotels and figuring out meals, all while continuing their studies. In this episode, Molly Jean Henebury interviews fellow Simmons student Sarah Lemire about her experience generally, but also in terms of how this situation affected her food security. Sarah is working at a local Boston Hospital as an essential employee and just finished her senior year at Simmons. Check back to hear the second episode and The Shark’s other IBS nominations. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@radiosimmons) and head to our website for a full transcription of the episode.

[intro music]

Molly Jean Henebury (voice over)

So you know how in infomercials, they always try to sweeten the deal and say, “but wait, there’s more!” And then they tack on like a whole other set of what they’re selling? That’s kind of where we’re at, but make it student food insecurity. Hi, my name is Molly Jean Henebury and today we are continuing our conversation about food insecurity at Simmons University. This time we’re talking about how COVID-19 has put a magnifying glass on this issue. In this episode, I will be talking to fellow Simmons senior Sara Lameer (sp). Sarah is a really good friend of mine and she’s currently being put up in a hotel by Residence Life as she is an essential employee at a Boston hospital. My conversation with Sarah is not just centered around food insecurity as a student in the agent COVID. But also just generally what this reality is like for her. Of course, this interview was done over the phone, so I apologize for the quality but also I don’t because social distancing. Gotta do it. Okay.

Sara 

Hello?

Molly Jean

 Hi!

Molly Jean (voice over)

Sara and I took a few minutes just to catch up for diving into the nitty gritty of everything 

Molly Jean

How is experience overall then from the residence halls to where y’all are at now?

Sara

I mean, it’s definitely  different. 

Molly Jean

Of course. Not quite The Suite Life of Zack and Cody we all imagined

Sara

I truly thought it would be the sweet life. We are not out here. 

Molly Jean

(laughs) No! 

Sara

I am not London Tipton in this moment.

Molly Jean (voice over)

I then asked Sara to get into her meals at the hotel and how the situation was comparing to eating at Simmons. She does give a quick shout out to Alba (sp), who is a dining services worker at Simmons who we love. So cheers to Alba.

Sara

I know, you know I love my girl Alba. She really cheffed me up a beautiful veggie filled omelet every morning. 

Molly Jean

Mhmm

Sara

And like here for breakfast, we have like just some bagels, nonfat yogurt. And that’s about it. So they give us a stipend of $12 a day, which was actually just like, all loaded onto our Fenway card at once. So

Molly Jean

 yeah, 

Sara

I cook them breakfast because I’m trying to get my veggies in. But then for dinner, we get takeout from Yard House, and it’s like the same menu like a weekly menu, so like every weekday, it’s the same thing. So like today, what day is it, Monday, we got our chicken fingers, some dippies and some fries. So that’s a good start to the week. 

(both laugh)

Molly Jean

How’s the communication been with administration? I know, you had mentioned before that at the start, Corey Zohlman was in touch but 

Sara

I think it’s like, I believe he’s part of Student Life, I don’t know if that’s true. But it’s like Student Life, The Office has been communicating. So like first when we were still on campus over spring break, they called me in because I was approved, and then they were like, asking me to further proove that I needed to be on campus. Later, I got an email saying that everyone had to move off campus when I called them back and I was, like, very confused and they were like no, you’re good. You can be on campus, like no worries. But then like the next day, they’re like, yeah, everyone has to move off campus like, you’re moving to a hotel, tomorrow, you gotta get out of here by like, four o’clock.

Molly Jean

Getting the rug pulled out from under you like that after the rug was just gently patted and placed and they’re like, no, no, the rug is still here. And for the to be like just kidding! No rug!

Sara

Yeah like just going back and forth like five times. It was very confusing, but so like going along with that, yeah, when everyone was still allowed to be on campus. They were serving meals in the Fens.

Molly Jean

Okay,

Sara

 and so, like, that went on for like two days. But then I like, hadn’t gone there, like I wasn’t really aware of what was going on because I was still like, freaking out, sitting in my dorm. You know, panicking and then I get a call for a phone from Student Life be like, hey, so as you know, the dining services are canceled. And I was like, Oh, I didn’t know that. Cool. 

Molly Jean

Actually, as I didn’t know, oh, shoot

Sara

Yeah, so then, for the next few days, they would just like, you know, email a thing that they ordered us dinner. So I was emailing like the preparedness email, like the main thing for students to contact when all this was happening. And they were like, they didn’t reply for a couple of days until I had already figured out what’s happening. And I was like, oh, so like, are you providing us meals still, because we are still on campus? Like I’ve met with kitchen like, 

Molly Jean

Yeah, 

Sara

I don’t even know what I was eating then 

Molly Jean

The way and obviously, I’m not in it, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, like, before this pandemic hit we, Simmons as a community, we had a food and security problem that was already apparent, we could not get on a meal plan three meals a day. 

Sara

Absolutely yeah

Molly Jean

like easily you, you could not get that. And so I think, there is already a fault to begin with. But now we’re in an emergency situation, and I think it was one of those things that revealed the cracks and made them all the more apparent. And not just because we didn’t have a contingency plan, which, you know, no one’s at fault, like It is a pandemic. And I think it’s, it’s highlighting the need and something I’m hoping that they might consider even further in the future, because now they’ve seen y’all in this extreme version of uncertainty where you didn’t know, in an even heightened way, where your next meal was coming from. And maybe, maybe that’s just my hopeful brain being like, “they’ll learn from this!” but I don’t know. 

Sara

I don’t know how much they like, I mean, like, clearly, I’m very grateful to be here. You know, they’re feeding me something like, God bless. Like, they figured something out. That’s actually like, suitable like, it’s livable, you know, but I don’t know if they know. 

Molly Jean

Yeah, there’s a lot of loose ends that have not been tied off. Yeah, that I mean, there. Yes. And I think folks that aren’t living our reality, that are in charge of our reality, and that is tricky. So, okay, so all fried foods? Not a lot of choices. Yeah. So I guess, in addition to those, is there anything else that in this process you’d like to see amended? And then on the flip side, is there anything you, you’d like to applaud that you think, was done well, by the administration?

Sara

So one thing that comes to mind is just the stipend that was put on our Fenway cards-

Molly Jean (voice over)

Real quick aside for anyone listening that might not know what Fenway Cash is, or have used it before. It’s basically loading money onto your student ID with a debit or credit card, so then you can use your student ID for payment at select businesses in the area surrounding Simmons campus. Okay, back to Sarah. 

Sara 

Like, that means we can only use that like 600 or 700 dollars, at places that takes Fenway cash. And I had never used it before. Like, in my four years here, because I’d like, never known how it worked, and never wanted to, like, bother people to ask, you know, like at the grocery store, so I tried it out during a pandemic and people were kind of mad at me. 

Molly Jean

Oof. 

Sara

Because, like, you know, I go to Whole Foods, it’s busy, and I’m like, oh, do you think Fenway cash? And the guy’s, like, I think so. And then it takes forever to figure it out my card’s like, broken because the card office couldn’t fix it, and then they told me to come back and then the school closed. So I think just like, like, initially, they gave us a gift card with some money on it, so I think that would be a better option because you can use it different places. Like maybe you don’t need to spend that much money on food at Star Market or Whole Foods, but you can use it as a Target to get like, like, a like  larger variety of items- 

Molly Jean

Yeah,

Sara

Or like Trader Joe’s. Great spot. 

Molly Jean

Yeah.

Sara

I’m trying to think of something to applaud. 

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Sara

I don’t know. Because um,  I mean, I don’t want to like, applaud Simmons. 

Molly Jean

Yeah

Sara

Not to be shady but like, every benefit. 

Molly Jean

Yeah. You don’t have to. It is not a requirement. Okay, okay. I have one more. I have one more.

Sara

Please

Molly Jean 

The next step in the process. Sp, he said communication then to Student Life thing kind of out of the blue after not a lot. But right now, after we’re about a month into this, is the communication kind of leveling out? Is it any more clear? Or is it still in that same chaotic one day at a time situation? 

Sara

Um well, so I think it was so chaotic because no one knew what was happening. And now,

Molly Jean

Yeah

Sara

-it’s like settled down. However, they did say like, when they told us we were moving into this hotel that we should be prepared to move out if they have to, like, close the hotel or something. So like, I’, kind of always on edge.

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Sara

Plus my anxiety. They sent the updated meal schedule, and it goes through like mid May. 

Molly Jean

Totally.

Sara

I don’t even know how long I’ll be here. Yeah, hopefully they don’t kick us out. But I mean, now, I think we’re just kind of living here. It’s like pretending that everything is going.

[Music fade in]

Molly Jean Voice Over

Following my interviews, I reached out to Simmons residence life for comments on the situation at hand. They were so great about getting back to me. And sent some really well thought out responses. They are a little lengthy, though, so here’s two of the main ones. In response to the question of why are we utilizing hotels rather than buildings on Residential Campus, the office said that “utilizing hotels is the best way for us to ensure the health and safety of students and staff during this pandemic. Not only do they prevent asymptomatic staff and students from interacting and potentially infecting each other, they offer individual bathroom and kitchen facilities that help with social distancing. Because of our campus’s location in the heart of the Longwood medical area, we know the space would likely be needed for workers caring for COVID-19 patients. As a result, we’d have to create complex quarantine zones that could further endanger the safety of residents and staff who remained on campus.” And then, when asked, Are there any other details you want the student body to know? the office replied, “Our first priority is always the safety of our students and staff. The covid 19 pandemic has presented many challenges that must be navigated quickly. In the face of these circumstances, our students have shown great resilience and understanding. We see and value students’ sacrifices and their strength during this immensely difficult period. We ask that students continue to reach out to our offices if there is anything they need, and we will continue to provide support and resources however we can.” Thank you very much to Residence Life for those statements and for your efforts during this time. Unfortunately, this is not where the story ends, which you might have guessed because we’re still living it. Not two days after my initial conversation with Sara, I got a text. Sara once again had to pack everything up. Hotel they were staying at was closing. Once the dust settled a little more, I gave Sara another call.

[phone ringing]

Sara

Hello?

Molly Jean

Hi again, friend. 

Sara

How are you Molly? 

Molly Jean 

Oh , ya’ know. Holding up. How are you?

Sara

uh, you know, being distracted from my work.

Molly Jean

(laughs) mhm, mhm, mhm. Okay, so play out for me the day of, you get the message and you have to figure out next step because you were working right? 

Sara

Yeah. So the first thing that we had to move out, and they were like working on securing a hotel, but they didn’t know when we had to leave or where we were going like, they didn’t tell us that yet. 

Molly Jean

oof

Sara

So I just spent the next few days like, waiting for information. We asked the front desk at the old hotel and the lady working didn’t even know that the hotel was closing. So, once again. Like I guess a couple days later, they’re like, here’s the hotel, we have to move. Or like you have to pack up all your stuff in boxes. This moving company’s gonna take it over. And you have to be ready to go by like Saturday 8am. And so I have like been in contact with them before they told us about the close because I did have to work all weekend during the day. But like yeah, I can’t move like I’m totally unavailable these whole days. So I mean, it ended up working out I just had to pack all my stuff and go to work with backpacks full of other stuff. And then take a taxi from work to this new hotel. And like, just the grand tie, and then the real kicker, the real punch line, Molly.

Molly Jean

(laughs)

Sara

We’re still getting our meals delivered from like, our dinners from Yard House. They’re still delivering it to the hotel. So I get in, I check in the front desk dude, very nice. And then I’m like, oh, like where are the dinners setup? Are they like down here?  And he says “yeah, they’re all around that table.” I go look at the table, and there’s like a couple meals with people’s names on them, which are like, people with dietary restrictions. So I go up and I’m like, “where are the other meals though?” He says “Those are it.” So yeah, I didn’t have dinner after working as an essential employee at the hospital. Not to be dramatic.

Molly Jean

I mean, it’s not dramatic. It’s real. That’s what happened. 

Sara

Yeah, I mean I still don’t know what went on with that but. So yeah.

Molly Jean

So new spot, how’s it comparing? 

Sara

Couple major differences. So at the other hotel, I had like a full kitchen, a full fridge. I had a dishwasher dude, like, I never used it, but what a luxury and how I was chilling. I as I told you before, I was making my breakfast, having my veggies. And here it’s it’s like a regular hotel room. So we just have like, a mini mini fridge. Like in my room, and then a microwave for the floor.

Molly Jean

A microwave for everyone on one floor when we’re supposed to be social distancing?

Sara

Yeah, I mean, it’s in the hallway. 

Molly Jean

Okay. 

Sara

But like, yeah, we’re all sharing a microwave. 

Molly Jean

Okay. So how do you feel? You know, like food security wise? 

Sara

I mean, I have food. But it’s definitely like to…  Well, okay. So the breakfast that they give us now, it kind of resembles like, a kid snack. 

Molly Jean

Okay.

Sara

Like a, you know, like a Trix yogurt. You know how those-

Molly Jean

 Oh, yeah. 

Sara

It’s like that. It’s not a Trix yogurt. But it’s like, it looks like one of those. 

Molly Jean

Honestly, probably be better. If it was a Trix yogurt. At least you’d have like a fun color to look at. 

Sara

I’ve never had one 

Molly Jean

Oh my gosh. Okay. So start with tiny yogurt

Sara

And um, a nutrigrain bar. And like an orange juice, which is like, the same kind we have in the hospital? Which I don’t know what the hell that is. But, It’s like, I don’t know. I’m not a fan of orange juice. Like, extra extra sugar with my sugar yogurt and sugar bar. And then fresh fruit. So, you know, when you finish your yogurt in three bites? It’s not the best start to your morning. 

Molly Jean

No, no, I can’t imagine starting your day quite like

Sara

It’s like like an appetizer to your, to your breakfast. And I’m definitely really thinking about food a lot, which is not healthy. Because, I’m like, trying to think of like what I can eat that I have here, which is just like, more granola bars, and like candy, and Pringles. PBJs. And then I just kind of until the same french fry dinner

Molly Jean

So the dinners are still french fries and a main like chicken tendies. 

Sara

Yeah, it’s like a lot of sandwiches. Like which makes me not want to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because there’s just a lot of sandwich.

Molly Jean

 Yeah, 

Sara

but it’s kind of like a PBJ is kind of like the standard like, shelf stable meal, you know? 

Molly Jean

Yeah. I mean, I feel like most shelf stable meals that you can make with only a hallway microwave are gonna be sandwiches of some variety

Sara

Yeah. And like I don’t have a freezer so I can’t

Molly Jean

 Yeah, frozen veggies even. 

Sara

It’s like, yeah, like I can live. Like I’m surviving. I have food. I have wifi. I have a bed, you know, like, I’m doing alright. It’s just like definitely a downgrade my, my mini mini fridge, I like shove so much stuff in there. It’s literally like a Jenga game.

(Molly Jean Laughs)

Sara

Or no it’s like Tetris dude. 

Molly Jean

Incredible

Sara

Here, do you want? Do you wanna a fridge tour? Or like a verbal, a podcast version?

Molly Jean

Heck yeah, let’s get it.

Sara

Let me see. Okay, okay. So I have one orange juice that I put in the fridge because I don’t know. I feel badly throwing food. I have strawberries that were on sale at Star Market. 

Molly Jean

Nice. 

Sara

Got some baby carrots. And hummus.

Store brand, locals only. And I have my PBJ. Oh, I have to say, coffee creamer, the essentials. So yeah, I’m trying to like maximize

Molly Jean

And that’s squished in there. Those few items are tight. Yeah, 

Sara

just picture, like those small items. And then like, that’s what fits. Like, you know, like go into your tripod and pull out those things and then there you go. That’s my fridge. Of course grateful to have a fridge of some sort. It’s just, again, not what I’m used to. So it takes a lot more like effort to think about food. 

Molly Jean

I mean, no one really has the mental bandwidth for that. 

Sara

Oh, another thing? I don’t know if I told you this, but they said, Simmons sent out an email a couple days ago, like telling people saying that they heard people were bringing in like, cooking devices. I’m guessing, like, maybe like, rice cookers 

Molly Jean

Probably like a hot plate or something. 

Sara

Yeah, yeah. And like, we’re allowed to have those in dorms, and then now flash to our hotel room. So they’re like threatening health and safety checks if people are dropping off at the front desk, which just seems like, like I understand it’s not safe but people are just trying to feed  themselves. Yeah, they said like we’re providing two of your three meals for the day like you can find that other third meal. I mean, I’m obviously adding the rude tone to it. Okay, we have tried with the hotel and the Yard House to provide the two meals a day. So that third meal, there are microwaves on each floor specifically for your use. And then if you are found to be bringing in an appliance, you will lose your exemption status. So you lose your housing. I just think it’s funny that they call a tiny yogurt a meal. 

Molly Jean

Yeah, also, that that is nowhere near sufficient.

[Music fade in]

Molly Jean Voice Over

So here we are now. It’s May, the spring semester is coming to an end, and students will soon be figuring out their next steps in regards to housing and meals. There are still plenty of questions to be asked and concerns to be addressed. Given all this uncertainty, I wasn’t sure how to wrap this podcast up because there’s no way to tie a neat bow on it. I would like to say, I don’t think anyone in this situation is ill intentioned. However, from the conversations I’ve had and worries I’ve heard, it’s my honest belief that we can do more. And we can do better. We continue to talk about this because in a global pandemic or otherwise, food and security remains an issue for Simmons students. Thank you so much again for listening, be safe and be well. This podcast was produced and written by me, Molly Jean Henebury. Edits and instruction were provided by Erica Moura of the Simmons Communications Department. Music for this podcast was produced by Connor O’Brian

Food Insecurity on Campus: Episode 1

Simmons student, Molly Jean Henebury’s two-part podcast “Food Insecurity on Campus” has been nominated for “Best Podcast” at the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards.

In this episode, Molly Jean discusses food insecurity at large and on Simmons Campus, including interviews with Katie Shapiro and Corey Zohlman.

Check back to hear the second episode and The Shark’s other IBS nominations. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@radiosimmons) and head to our website for a full transcription of the episode.

[intro guitar music]

Molly Jean Voice Over:

You’re sitting in a crowded lecture hall, you’re doing your best to ignore the constant onslaught of notifications from your phone. Your professor is speaking, and you desperately want to listen. But you’re gripping your stomach, it keeps voicing his opinions and an otherwise silent room. You didn’t have a chance to get dinner before this because you’re out of Meal Swipes. Your mind is wandering to when you can eat next. This podcast is going to address an ever growing discussion, food insecurity on college campuses. My name is Molly Jean Henebury. Like Billie Jean, but Molly. I’m a graduating senior at Simmons University in Boston. I study Nutrition and Dietetics and Public Health. Initially, this podcast was being produced in a world where you could still be within six feet of your friends and family. In this first episode, we’ll talk about what food insecurity is and what it looks like on a pre-corona Simmons campus. Next episode, we’ll be talking about the consequences that we’re currently dealing with as students in the hands of Residence Life navigate their new reality. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

The US Drug Administration defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active healthy life. An addendum to that definition is a lack of appropriate access to food. Because folks might be able to consistently check restaurant dumpsters for their next meal, but that does not mean they’re food secure. Food Security has affected people all over the world for generations. But we’ve only just begun to talk about how it’s impacting college students. In January of 2016, the Atlantic posted an article titled ‘The hidden hunger on college campuses.’ This piece highlighted the disconnect between how we generally think college students treat food and the grim reality for many. College is often associated with eating an excess and the consequential “freshman 15.” This assumption got a reality check with Sara Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Education Policy and Sociology at University of Wisconsin, surveyed 4,000 students at 10 community colleges across the country. Her study suggested that more than half of all community college students struggle with food insecurity. That’s one in two students. Here at Simmons, student Katie Shapiro saw these numbers and became curious if something like that story they were telling could exist at a private university. Katie conducted a research study of Simmons students and their own experience of food insecurity. I sat down with Katie to see what she found.

[Guitar music]

Molly Jean

Thank you so much for coming in, Katie. 

Katie Shapiro

Yeah, thank you for having me

Molly Jean

How are you doing?

Katie Shapiro 

I’m good, how are you?

Molly Jean

I’m good, thank you.

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

Katie and I first discussed how reading that 2016 Atlantic article sparked an interest for her and how she found herself conducting this survey at Simmons. We then got into the findings of that research and what those numbers meant. 

Molly Jean 

In doing that SURPASs project, was there any moment or numbers or stats that really surprised you, or shocked you at all? 

Katie Shapiro

Absolutely, yeah. I think I expected there to be a prevalence, like I knew it existed here, I didn’t realize how prevalent it was, especially around anxieties in acquiring food. I think it was like 85% of our residential students are anxious about being able to afford their next meal. That’s incredibly high, and I, like, really was never expecting it to be so high. And even going down the different like, measures of food insecurity, like, it stays pretty consistently at about 60 or 40% for a lot of that. And for the most extreme forms of food insecurity, like losing weight due to being unable to eat, so like really chronic food insecurity, that’s still about 13% of our students. So I was consistently shocked by how hungry students were and how much they aren’t showing that. Because I had never personally been food insecure, this is something I just kind of stumbled into. So I didn’t realize that people who like we’re in my classes every day we’re not eating-

Molly Jean

Yeah,

Katie Shapiro 

-right next to me

Molly Jean (Voice over)

As a transfer student, this was all news to me too. Upon coming to Simmons, I was shocked to find that students on meal plans were unable to get three meals a day, seven days a week. And that’s something you’ll hear a lot of during this podcast. It’s important because that’s generally how the population eats. Three meals a day, maybe some snacks if you’re feeling spicy. And when you’re a student and your days somehow feel like they’re longer than 24 hours, you really need those three meals to get you through your classes, work, studying and just generally trying to be a functioning member of society. It comes down to having enough metaphorical fuel in the tank.

Katie Shapiro

Yeah, the three meals a day was like a really big thing for people. So, I had a comment section as well, and like, so like hundreds of times people were just like, we need three meals a day, that’s like absolutely a necessity .

Molly Jean 

I think that’s a fair ask. 

(Molly Jean, Katie laugh) 

Katie Shapiro

Yeah. That’s it’s been interesting to hear what administration, like, how they weave away from that. 

Molly Jean 

Yeah, I guess in that, um, there has been the responses, the like, meal swipe transfer and everything- 

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

Real quick, to explain what I’m asking about here, the meal swipe program allows residential students with a meal plan to either donate meals or points to a quote unquote bank. These meals and points can then be used by other residential students who are facing temporary food insecurity. That’s that.

Molly Jean

How do you think that’s combating the issue? Do you think that’s sufficient? Do

you think…

Katie Shapiro

I think it’s a great first step

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Katie Shapiro

Like, we went from having not a single thing. So for students who are, like, absolutely starving that, like 10% of people, that’s huge to be able to, like, have a meal that’s just like waiting for you. However, I don’t think Simmons does the best job talking about these resources. We’re really ashamed as a University to say that we have food insecure students, and that we’re doing something to attack that problem that you know, the system has created. It’s no one’s, like personal fault. 

Molly Jean

Mmhmm.

Katie Shapiro

But it is created by the system that we, that we have going on here. I, I wish they would be really transparent about it and like, talk about it all the time, you really have to ask them to like find out about it. Or you have to talk to someone like myself or another activist on campus, who really knows the ins and outs of this stuff.

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

After my conversation with Katie, I spoke with Cory Zohlman to look for that after mentioned administrative transparency. Corey is the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Simmons. His name is largely the one students see in their Gmail inbox for updates regarding the school’s attempts to combat food insecurity on campus.

Molly Jean

Thank you so much for being here.

Corey Zohlman

Thank you for inviting me to be part of your podcast

Molly Jean

Of course, Yeah. So I guess to start off, I want to ask in your own words, what do you think the issue of food insecurity looks like on Simmons right now?

Corey Zohlman

Um, so, I think in the last several months, we’ve become more aware of what it looks like in two populations, our residential students, but also our commuter students. And I think what really sort of unearthed this and brought awareness in particular to the administration was a student by the name Katie, who made it a part of her SURPASs project, and it definitely kind of raised a lot of eyebrows, where we did not realize to the degree where folks were experiencing food insecurity, both with our current meal plan, but also students who don’t hold a meal plan. So it’s definitely bigger than we thought it would be, but it’s not untenable.

Molly Jean

Mmm, gotcha. So you’re touching upon the fact that we have taken some steps since then-

Corey

Yup.

Molly Jean

– would you explain the initiatives that Simmons has taken so far?

Corey 

Yeah so um, fortunately, we have some things in place, which will likely change next semester to adapt to the need. So right now, for our residential students, we have a meal plan, exchange-

[music]

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

Okay, sorry, pause. It’s at this point that I should tell you, this is also something Katie and I discussed, students have some concerns with this meal swipe exchange program. Specifically, the worry is that students struggling with eating disorders might donate swipes, and it will seem as though they’re using them. Katie and I also talked about how current meal plans already lend themselves to eating disorders. Not being able to eat three meals a day, seven days a week is pretty conducive to destructive behavior. Alright. With that, back to the interview. 

[music fade out] 

Corey Zohlman 

– we have for our commuter students, a plan for emergency meals, which are supposed to be for episodic instances, such as your employer didn’t pay you, maybe you had to buy a book that you weren’t expecting to buy so now you can’t afford groceries and that has been widely utilized. In the spring, we’re going to have the trustees market, which helps with providing nutritious fruits and vegetables, which is part of food insecurity, not having access to those things and so that will be on campus. And we’ll be distributing vouchers to students. It’ll be limited at first, so we can gauge the use, but that will be available to students. And last but not least, something that we piloted with a small group of students and we’re going to roll out broader in the fall is allowing students who might not have the ability to pay for a meal plan through Aramark upfront to add it to their bill, their tuition bill, and then it gives them the opportunity to possibly pay for over three to four months um because sometimes students just don’t have the money to pay 5, 6, 700 dollars upfront and over several months of paying off, it might make it more affordable.

[music fade in]

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

As you might remember, from just a few minutes ago, Katie and I talked about the effectiveness of these interventions. And while it’s good steps are being taken, they really are band aids on a balloon that’s revealing new holes every day. That’s not to say that these are bad ideas, but again, students still can’t get three meals a day, seven days a week. That’s why some students are saying a total overhaul is needed. Start from scratch. I proposed this idea to Cory

[music fade out]

Molly Jean 

There’s been changes made to fix what’s wrong, but I think some folks are thinking more the whole infrastructure needs changing rather than band aids.

Corey 

Yeah, so I um, I can speak very limitedly to the, to this. But in an email, in the Campus Life newsletter, several months ago, Joan Martinez, who is a AVP for administration, I myself penned a small letter to the student body sharing that we are going out for an RFP for our dining contract.

[music fade in]

Molly Jean

So there were some acronyms just there. Joan Martinez being the AVP means he is the Assistant Vice President, he is specifically the Assistant Vice President of the University Real Estate Development and Facilities Management. The term RFP stands for request for proposal, Simmons sent this request to dining service vendors to identify a partner to collaborate with for a new dining center on campus, food services can then submit their proposals, or bids, to seventh for deliberation. Okay, that’s it.

Corey 

So that’s a way that we can help change the system. So if there’s issues with the residential meal plan, or the commuter meal plan, that’s a way to, you know, rip off the band aid and actually revisit the structure of what we’re offering and how we’re able to offer it. So that’s, again, one of the ways we’re thinking about using the information that we have based on whose access some of these services or safety nets to see how we can broaden it and make it more readily available based on now that we know the who and some of the circumstances. So we will re explore a food pantry to see if that might meet need. So yeah.

Molly Jean 

 Yeah. I think it’s definitely, it’s a new area of private universities exploring this issue. I think it’s been rather under the table, kept quiet for so long, and so I think it’s a new area. So I applaud you and your efforts and everything.

Corey

Oh no, and I mean, honestly,  I’m sorry, that we were so unaware, so thank you. 

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Corey

And we are trying to evolve the system into something that meets most of the need of folks to the best of our ability.

Molly Jea

Corey also spoke on his gratitude for the HR department at Simmons and their collaborative efforts in these interventions. He welcomed any and all ideas for moving forward, as well as other partnerships between departments. So that was food insecurity on Simmons campus before the world became the garbage can on fire we know it to be right now. Next episode, I’ll be speaking with a Simmons student being put up in Boston hotels by Residence Life. We talk about what meals are like for students there, but also what it’s like to be a student there.

Clip of Unknown Speaker 

like I wasn’t really aware of what was going on because I was still like, freaking out, sitting in my dorm, you know, panicking. And then I get a call for a phone from student life being like, hey, so as you know, the dining services are canceled, and I was like, oh, I didn’t know that. Cool.

Molly Jean Voice Over

Thank you all so very much for listening. I hope you tune in to the next one. This podcast was produced and written by yours truly. edits and instruction were provided by Erica Moura at the Simmons Communications Department. Music for this podcast was produced by Conor O’Brian.

[Music Fade out]

Kelly O’Hanlon’s IBS Nomination: Best Logo

Iz Indelicato – Hello again! It’s Iz, General Manager here at Simmons Radio: The Shark, and today we’re gonna share with you an interview with Kelly O’Hanlon. Kelly O’Hanlon is the designer of our fantastic logo which was nominated for Best Logo at this year’s Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards.
To hear the full episode that this segment aired on, you can head over to the Welcome Home podcast feed which will be linked in the description. If you want to check out Kelly’s work, her portfolio website and her Instagram account will be linked in the episode description as well.

Katie Cole
Simmons students are just really creative across the board. That’s how we got our logo for our station, correct? 

Iz Indelicato  
Yes, it is. So as I hope some of you know, Simmons Radio: The Shark was nominated for six Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards, which Sarah is going to tell us more about after this quick piece, one of them being for best logo. And as journalists, we’re supposed to be curious, and we’re supposed to ask questions. But a question that I never asked is how did our logo come to be? I do not understand how I never asked that question. But now I know and we’re going to hear a little bit more about it. So in 2015 2016, around that time, Simmons Radio: The Shark had a competition for a new logo. And as a first-year student, Kelly O’Hanlon decided to throw her submission into the ring. Majoring in political science and international relations, Kelly graduated in 2008 is currently living in Omaha, Nebraska, working as a study abroad advisor at Creighton University. Let’s take a listen to hear a little bit more about Kelly’s background, her design process and what she’s up to now.

Can we get started by you just telling us a little bit about the process in which you designed the logo? Because I know you said that you were a poli sci major. So how did you find yourself entering this competition?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yes. So I am in love with a lot of different things in life. When I was studying, I was really fascinated with politics and you know, countries around the world and how they operate. But in my spare time I to this day love to illustrate and paint and do graphic design, kind of fulfill my creative side. And that was the case when I was a student and I saw posters around advertising the contest for the logo for The Shark. And I thought, you know, why not give it a go? Like, try to try to see how I can make a fun logo for the station. Maybe I’ll win. And it just turns out that I did.

Iz Indelicato  
That’s so awesome. And what do you do you want to like walk through the process of how the design for The Shark came to be or if you like took certain inspiration for things or like color palettes. I’m just super interested if you have anything to share about that.

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, um with my basic knowledge of color theory from art and drawing and painting. I knew that I wanted to do two really contrasting colors that when they came together just kind of electric and just burst off the page. And so I picked that kind of Simmons-ey teal with the yellow. I think those colors worked really well together. I also wanted to try to experiment doing something more abstract, because when you illustrate, you’re basically trying to capture what you see, but I wanted to do something a little bit more fun and kind of just imply a bit of imagination with it. So instead of kind of a very serious or gritty, realistic shark or otherwise. I just thought it would be kind of cool. The mic was like coming out of the wave. So just kind of little bits and pieces of art knowledge that I just had picked up from my hobby came together. And I think it actually had the effect that I wanted it to have on people when they saw the logo, which has really thrilled me and probably has informed a lot of my graphic design projects that I’ve done since then. Graphic Design is all about soliciting emotion and like a reaction to something using particular colors or design elements. And I was just really young at that time hadn’t done much graphic design, and it kind of inspired me to keep it going.

Iz Indelicato  
And can I ask what do you remember what programs you used to make the logo? 

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, I still use this program to this day, even though they’ve made a bunch of new versions. But I use Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 6 for the whole thing. I probably should have used Illustrator and done some vectors on that. It is not a vector file. I didn’t know what I was doing. I basically drew it. Luckily big enough for it to be high enough quality, but I still kind of find myself doing everything in Photoshop, because that’s what I know and what I’ve known for a really long time, obviously, even if it’s not the most efficient at times. But yeah, I use that. I also use that when I draw, just kind of one-stop shop for everything I do.

Iz Indelicato  
Awesome. That’s so cool. And what are you doing these days in terms of outside of your work and kind of keeping that creative energy flowing?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
I actually do some graphic design on the side for different projects for people, I draw all the time I paint as much as I can. I really make sure to make time for my creative side. I’ve never really learned how to do graphic design formally. So I feel a little bit funny saying I find graphic design jobs here and there. But I think if you have an eye for color or art, you can get creative and kind of fall into a couple different artistic pursuits. So I definitely prioritize keeping up the arts. 

Iz Indelicato  
I feel like this is a question that artists are being asked all the time and they probably hate it. But almost a year into this pandemic, have you been using art as sort of a way to cope? Has it felt like a creative block or sort of an obligation to use this time to like, be creative or work on something?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, that’s a great question. Because I don’t do art for a living really, I’m, you know, lucky enough to be able to support myself in some other career while I do art on the side. And I think that relationship with art is really important to me, because if it was my career, especially during the pandemic, I just can’t even imagine how stressed out I would be. And I even was furloughed for a couple months over the summer. I work at a university so a lot of us went through that. Art absolutely captured all my emotions from last year, there were periods where I was so stressed, I wasn’t making anything. There were periods where I was making really weird stuff that I’d never tried before lots of emotions are coming out. And it was just a really good outlet and continues to be a great outlet into 2021. And I appreciate how art has been there for me during this tumultuous time it’s kind of rooted me.

Sarah Carlon  
Links to Kelly’s work can be found in the description of this episode.

Iz Indelicato – Congratulations to Kelly and all of the other nominees for the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards. Stay tuned to hear the two podcast nominations for ‘Welcome Home’ and Molly Jean Henebury’s ‘Food Insecurity On Campus’ two-part podcast. 

Fall 2020 at Simmons Radio

Welcome to a new and strange semester. Obviously, we’re doing things differently this semester… here is some info about it! As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas.

Our Podcast “Welcome Home”
Iz Indelicato (General Manager) and Katie Cole (Assistant General Manager) are producing a podcast in collaboration with the Simmons Voice. It’ll be a weekly Simmons news round up. We would love for you to be included! We’re accepting all kinds of content, be it a fun segment you do with your friends, an interview you do with a professor, maybe a COVID update from a health major, or a news story you’re particularly proud of. If you want to contribute, email us back and we’ll let you know how.

Your Podcast
One of the great things about radio is that it’s accessible. All you need to produce a podcast is the microphone on your phone and a basic editing software (Audacity is free!). We also are in the process of purchasing some mid-grade professional USB mics you can use if you send us a podcast pitch. We’re hoping to have about 3-4 available. We’ll post your podcast for you on our Spotify. This is a great opportunity, even if you only produce an episode or two – please take it!

Spotify
Simmons Radio has a Spotify account. We’ll be posting collaborative playlists, but also would love to have you do weekly playlists for us as you would if you had a music show live with us. You could also write up brief descriptions about why you chose your songs and we can post that description along with a playlist link to the Arts & Entertainment section of the Simmons Voice!

Live Broadcasts!!!
Radio Managers are getting the capacity to post live broadcasts from home! This means if you record your show or a podcast, we can play and stream it live like we would if we were back at school. Let us know if you’re interested!

EBoard
We have open EBoard positions! We are looking for:
– Operations Manager
(Help with scheduling shows, managing emails and google drive, podcast posting. Take a leading event planning. Supporting GM and Assistant GM with daily tasks.)
-Social Media Manager.
( Manage our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feed and Spotify playlists! Helping plan events and manage the station too.)
-Music Director
(Help plan virtual concerts, plan band interviews, reach out to local bands, help plan Fin Fest provided we are on campus next semester, Helping plan events and manage the station too.)
Keep in mind if you have your eyes on higher office (GM or Assistant GM) you need to have held another EBoard position. Email us if you are interested in any of these roles!!

And a note: We aren’t perfect and we don’t think of everything, so if you have an idea, please send it along!

This semester is going to be weird but we’re going to make the very best of it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if and whenever you want or need it!

Radio FAQ

Let’s start with the simple stuff, cause we all know we’re dumb sometimes.

  • How do I go on air?

Go to the mac computer( the one on the left), hit the big live microphone button, the next which is to the right of it. Boom! You’re speaking to the world!

  • How do I start the Audition recording?

First you have to open Audition which is a green icon with the letters Au on it. Then that will bring up a blank screen. Hit file, new and it will . Hit the red circle on the bottom and it will start recording.

  • How do I save my Audition recording?

Stop the recording and it will prompt you to save it. Make sure to name it something you will be able to remember later! Save it to the folder labeled shows and recordings, and then inside your own show’s folder.

  • My music isn’t playing?

First thing is to make sure the sound on your device is turned all the way up.

Next check that the WF Panel Button is turned on, with it’s volume up. If either is is true, your music has been play, it’s just on air can not hear it.

If neither works, check the station volume all the way on the right side of the board. If that is turned down, then your listeners have been hearing the music, but you have not.

Also note, if your microphone is still on while playing music it will not play in the station, but your listeners will still hear it.

The important thing to remember to avoid this confusion is to pay attention to the levels on the board, on the PC where Audacity is recording, and the Mac live broadcast.

If you tried all of the and it still is not play please use the contact on the whiteboard to contact us!

  • There is nothing open on the Mac to go on air with?

This is a super easy fix. Just go to the dashboard at the bottom of the screens and there will be three microphone looking icons on the left. Click the one furthest to the left, On Air Display, and that will bring up the window.

  • I’ve checked and nothing else is wrong, but I still can’t go on air?

Check the console under the radio and look for a green light to the right of the on air button. If that is not on, press it and try again. If this still doesn’t work, contact us!

  • My levels on the On Air Display isn’t going when I play music/speaking into the mic?

One reason might be that backbone is being finicky. Try quitting On Air Display by hitting the name in the upper left corner, quit On Air Display and then opening it up again. If this does not work contact us!

Training Schedule Spring 2019

We are happy that you’re interested in training to use the Radio Station! Here is the current schedule of training shows for this semester that you may attend. Please contact them at least 24 hours ahead of time to make sure they will be able to train you on that date.

Monday 1-2
Afternoon Rush
Hope Lehnick
[email protected]

Monday 7-8
Happy Hour
Kait Smith
[email protected]

Tuesday 4-5
Studio Where It Happens
Emily Cole
[email protected]

Wednesday 3-4
Random Radio
Kaelan Heston
[email protected]

Wednesday 4-5
The Mo Show
Maura Coughlin
[email protected]

Wednesday 6-7
INDY Hour
Izzy Indelicato
[email protected]

Thursday 5-6
Unplugged 
Katie Cole
[email protected]

Friday 11-12:30
Insert Show Title Here (I. S. T. H.) 
Isabella Amparan
[email protected]