SIUE Web Radio offers number of opportunities for students

Brian Lowe does the intro to their show “Vermin Lord Records” which showcases

some of the darker songs on their playlist.

SIUE’s Web Radio offers students a unique experience to put on their resumes. 


Web Radio was founded in 2003 by graduate assistant Lisa Herman. 


At first, Web Radio was under the guidance of WSIE, a campus radio, and Frank Akers who also worked there. When WSIE became a part of the Mass Communications department, so did Web Radio. 


In 2010, Web Radio was moved under the umbrella of Student Affairs and tied to the student Publications budget. Since Aker’s retirement, the Web Radio program has been run by graduate assistants that are shared with Mass Communications and Student Publications.


Today Web Radio is run by graduate assistant for Web Radio Brian Lowe. When they first got there, Lowe said that Web Radio was dormant. 


“So it was basically just a couple of DJs doing their own thing over time, until we're kind of where we are now,” Lowe said.


Lowe said that when they were hired, they began to reunite the program and start promoting again. 


A problem they currently face is a low listening rate. According to Lowe, Web Radio is not on any common streaming services so it’s difficult to access.


“It's not the kind of thing where you can hop on Spotify or Apple Music or YouTube or something like that,” Lowe said. “And again, to listen, instead, you have to get the TuneIn radio app and tune into the radio station and that sort of thing.”


Although listening and involvement are not as high as Lowe would want it, Jessica Kuca, the host of “LoFi Grrrl,” said that involvement has grown since she first started after the COVID-19 pandemic. Kuca’s show often involves her playing and explaining an album from her eclectic music collection of everything from lo-fi to indie folk.


“I've definitely seen more people take interest in it or actually know what it is because I know personally, before they talked to me and asked me to join, I would walk past the booth in the MUC and be like ‘what is that?’ ‘What is the purpose of that?’ But now I feel like more people are learning what it is or what's going on. And I think that growth is a really cool thing to watch and be a part of.”


Kuca joined Web Radio after her friend from high school told her about what they did. They started a show together called ‘Bad Theatre Festival,’ where they would create playlists for each other to make musicals based off of Kuca said.


Kuca also explained that even though she does not plan on continuing in media, the skills she has gained from working at Web Radio gave her important skills to use elsewhere. 


“And then once they taught me how to use the computer and soundboard and stuff, which wasn't really that difficult just for my purposes. I just kind of had to press a couple of buttons and walk into the back. And then that was it. But I'm also really bad with technology and that sort of thing,” Kuca said.


Kuca also said she gained confidence. Kuca said she was anxious at first but has gained confidence over time.


“When we did the ‘Bad Theatre Festival’, it was a really fun experience, especially with my friends and with people I was comfortable with,” Kuca said. “In the environment of essentially just reading something to my friends, I was able to sort of strengthen [my] confidence in myself. 

I am proud of something that I wrote, even if it's just like something stupid that we would laugh at the whole time.”


Lowe also cited Web Radio as a resume builder. 


“I still found that being able to put Web Radio as experience on my resume moving forward was kind of nice, because it showed that I had that sort of, frankly, that radio personality capability,” Lowe said. “and in a sense, what that really means to a lot of employers is your customer service abilities are probably pretty, okay. If you can put on a show there's a decent chance that you can probably work with people well enough.”


For the future, Lowe said their main goal is to get more people interested in not only listening, but and joining the program. As of right now, Web Radio has about six shows but Lowe hopes to start more shows in the near future and gain more listeners.


“I kind of realized how nice it is in the booth, because it's just kind of this quiet space that I can play whatever music that I want,” Kuca said, “And it gives me an excuse to just hang out and do homework. While just playing music that I like.”


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.