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CSU students 'pump up the volume' with new station

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

A person can now be anywhere in the world and hear what's going on at Clayton State University's campus in Morrow.

While the university's web site allowed people on the far side of Earth to read about the school, the school launched Clayton State Internet Radio, the university's first radio station, this week.

The official launch ceremony for the school-sponsored station will take place on Thursday, at 12:30 p.m., in room 206 of Clayton State's James M. Baker University Center, but a loop of songs is already playing on the station's web feed. CSU officials are celebrating the launch with a week of events, which began on Monday with a funnel cake sale in the university quad.

As the wind blew white powdered sugar through the air, the station was playing on a student's laptop computer.

"Since we are a laptop campus, we thought it'd be cool to do an internet radio station to match the campus lifestyle ... plus internet radio is still somewhat new, so this station is going to be cutting edge," said Station General Manager Stephanie Cooper, a junior communications and media studies major from Stone Mountain. "I'm excited that we're finally going on the air."

Launch week continues on Wednesday with a music drive, which lets people bring their old CDs to station employees in university quad from 11 a.m., to 2 p.m. A karaoke night will take place from 7 p.m., to 8:30 p.m., on Wednesday, in the food court of the university center. Station tours will take place from 12:30 p.m., to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The station is fed live to the rest of the world via livethrough65.com, a web site which links people to internet radio stations from around the planet. Station leaders envision Clayton State Internet Radio being a place to play diverse styles of music, such as hip hop, R&B, classical, techno, trance, folk, rock and roll, and gospel.

"Livethrough65.com provides us with a small amount of their music, and some of our own stuff," said Victor Jackson, the station's assistant music director and a resident of Riverdale. "We don't want to limit ourselves, so we're going to have a little bit of everything."

The station will also feature university-based talk shows, sports shows, and relationship shows. It's budding play list already includes lots of hip hop, classical and gospel music, but more songs are needed from other genres, said Music Director Chad Chisolm, a senior biology major from New York City.

"We have a lot of people at this school who are musically inclined, especially the people in the music department, so we want to give more attention to them," Chisolm said. "Take care of the internal first, then expand to the mainstream."

Theo Celeste, a junior communication and media studies major from Jonesboro, and the station's technical director, said the station consists of two computers, a microphone, and an Audio Fire Wire Box, which is connected to everything else, and acts as Clayton State Inter Net Radio's "brain."

"That's pretty much the set up until we get a budget, then we're looking at getting a mixing board," Celeste said.

Celeste added that the station will run on "audio pilot" from 11 p.m., to 7 a.m., every day, because no one is allowed in the university center during those hours.

The recent launch completes three years of work by Clayton State students who wanted to create something they thought was missing from campus life. The idea of a student-run radio station had been floating around since 2000 as several groups tried to get a station up and running.

The group of students who eventually got the station on the air were curious about why other colleges in the state had a radio station, but their university lacked one, Cooper said. Cooper added that she and other students did informal surveys of their classmates and determined there was interest in having a radio station.

"It took us awhile because we had to get licensing to operate a radio station," Cooper said. "We had performing licenses through groups like BMI and ASCAP, but we needed a license to operate an internet radio station. That took awhile, but we eventually got a license from Sound Exchange."

A license was needed to make sure the station was properly operated without breaking any copyright laws. "Internet radio is still pretty controversial, because some stations just burn songs off the internet and play them without permission, so the musicians don't get paid," Cooper added.

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On the Net

Clayton State Internet Radio: http://studentorg.clayton.edu/csir/