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Davis, California

Monday, July 15, 2024

KDVS volunteers work for fun

KDVS Volunteer Orientations
Jan. 15 and 16
6 to 7 p.m.
Wellman 106

It’s no secret that KDVS volunteers work with music a lot. However, they also make buttons, watch people crowd surf in living rooms and send out Christmas cards.

“There are humans at KDVS 24/7,” said Christine Hong, a fourth-year psychology major who serves as the station’s programming director. “There are 100 DJs playing music on the station at all hours.”

Mary Champeny, a fourth-year clinical nutrition major and the station’s news director, estimates that in addition to the DJs, there are around 60 new volunteers who do not host a radio show.

In order to host a show on KDVS, volunteers need to work at the station for 50 hours. In addition, prospective DJs need to attend training seminars as well as “mentoring” sessions in which they sit in on a show with a DJ.

“50 hours seems hefty at first but considering that you get a certain amount of hours for completing tasks, it is actually less than 50 hours,” Hong said.

Nicole Lesnett, a fourth-year international relations major, serves as the office coordinator for KDVS, which means that she often works with volunteers.

“I try to coordinate the tasks so that our volunteers get together and form a community,” Lesnett said.

One task Lesnett set up last quarter involved signing Christmas cards.

“We sent out thank you cards to people who had donated in a recent pledge drive,” Lesnett said. “A bunch of people came in and signed personal messages on the cards while we listened to Christmas music and ate cookies.”

KDVS has an extensive amount of tasks that volunteers can do. According to Champeny, volunteers can organize and add to the extensive music library, work at live events or tidy up the office.

“I assumed that volunteering would be mostly censoring music but there were a lot of other tasks to do,” said Eric Frankenstein, a second-year anthropology major. “I made buttons for the station, and I cut up some magazines to help put together a visual schedule in the lobby.”

Lesnett added that volunteers can contribute to KDVS’ quarterly magazine KDViationS, write for the website’s blog, assist with DJing for the farmer’s market and censor curse words from new music.

Volunteering exposed many members of KDVS to new experiences that they otherwise would not have encountered.

“The very first thing I did for KDVS was to work the door at a noisecore show we held at The Hub in Sacramento,” Lesnett said. “I had never seen noisecore before and it just blew my mind. KDVS puts on a lot of live shows that range from folk to performance art to noisecore, so volunteering at those exposes you to interesting music.”

Anthony Beck, a third-year biological systems engineering major, joined KDVS in the fall because he had a few friends who also worked there.

“This place vibed me out so hard that I decided to stay,” Beck said.

While volunteering last quarter, Beck worked at a house show put on by the station.
“I saw someone crowd surf in a living room for the first time in my life at that show,” he said.

Beck is DJing for the first time this quarter. His show goes from 4:30 to 6 a.m. Friday mornings, which he doesn’t seem to mind.

“I’m excited to see the sun rise once a week,” Beck said.

Frankenstein is also DJing for the first time, with a show that goes from 4:30 to 6 a.m. Wednesday mornings.

“I’m pretty nervous about the show, but it’s cool to influence people’s music choices,” Frankenstein said.

While 50 hours of volunteering seems like hard work, volunteers like Maxwell Sowell, a third-year linguistics and philosophy double major, take it in stride.

“Even though we can all put KDVS on our resume, that’s not the reason why we’re doing this,” Sowell said.

Anyone interested in volunteering should attend a volunteer orientation, which will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in Wellman 106 on next Tuesday or next Wednesday.

JOHN KESLER can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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