Possibly the main reason I decided to run for SSC Broadcasting Officer back in March was because of how much I love working with all the Starlings. The wonderful community built around creativity and exciting events has, for me, always been a main draw of STAR. Finding out within a week or so of getting the job that I would be locked down away from all the Starlings for the foreseeable future was a major disappointment, to say the least!
My initial weeks as broadcasting officer were a scramble to put out fires and adjust to the new normal. Typically, on return from spring vacation, the station manager’s first job is to hire a new committee, normally through a series of face to face interviews. This year meeting face to face was off the table, so Tom the DoES and I embarked on hours upon hours of virtual interviews. In spite of the pandemic, the calibre of interviews was shockingly high. After 4 days we had assembled the crack team that you now call the Star Committee. Hiring a committee virtually is not without its challenges, and I still haven’t even met some of our committee members face to face, but in spite of everything they have all been kicking ass and taking names since day one and there’s not much more a station manager could ask for.
Moving swiftly on to our next challenge, we needed to tackle how a student society conceived entirely on the notion of gathering in a small room and chatting was going to navigate social distancing and the closure of the union. Luckily for STAR, our tech team was quick on the case, designing a virtual studio which has allowed shows to continue broadcasting over the summer should they want to. The amazing efforts of our tech team allowed us to host two events before the end of the semester: our traditional awards show, and a wellbeing event in collaboration with the wellbeing committee. I could not be happier with the way every member of committee has approached the challenges posed by the pandemic as an opportunity to think creatively. When I came into the role of broadcasting officer, all I could focus on was getting STAR through the turbulence of the times – the way the committee has consistently delivered so much more than that is mind-blowing, and I can’t thank all of them enough.
Looking to the future I’m excited to start a new semester with a whole load of new ideas and exciting plans for STAR. The nature of the pandemic has caused station managers across student radio to reach out and connect and it has been exciting to discuss possible collaboration with other student radios. I’m also excited to continue to work with the committee to continue to bring the highest quality student media to St Andrews, and to find some creative ways to continue to host amazing events. I hope to see you there, and remember… listen responsibly!