Nestled down a blue hallway next to Degrees on the third floor of University Centre is 101.5 UMFM, your campus and community radio station. Jared McKetiak and Michael Elves, the station’s manager and program director, respectively, are there to welcome you with friendly, smiling faces and perhaps entice you to volunteer.
If you tune in to UMFM, you won’t be listening to your typical single-genre station. A multitude of diverse shows await your ear – punk, jazz, folk, electronic, talk, campus-based, and everything in between .
“We try to appeal to a bunch of different niche groups and put them all under the same umbrella,” says Elves.
If you’ve been toying with a great idea for a radio show, volunteering for UMFM will be right up your alley. UMFM has a volunteer training program, where you’ll learn about the station, the equipment, and rules that keep everything running smoothly. After six hours of volunteer time, you’ll be considered a “volunteer at large,” making you a full voting member in the station’s annual general meeting.
Aside from pitching and hosting a show, you can work in production if you’re more technically inclined. You can do live band recordings, learn to mix ads, and learn to use the software. Or, you can become involved in marketing and promotion.
UMFM does receive a levy from UMSU, but due to inflation, the costs of running the station are augmented by the annual Pledge-O-Rama fundraiser in October.
During Pledge-O-Rama, a bunch of specialty programming is held throughout the week. Live bands perform, shows have guests and promotions, and there are special incentives for listeners who pledge. UMFM puts together an incentive package all their own that includes a CD of live band performances at the station – and you won’t find those recordings anywhere else.
“[Pledge-O-Rama is] our listeners truly supporting us in the sense of putting their dollars where their ears are,” says Elves.
One of the best aspects of working at a campus radio station is the continually changing group of volunteers, says Elves.
“There’s a lot of unique and interesting voices that I get exposed to,” he says.
It’s time to make your voice heard and head on up to UMFM. A welcoming group of students and folks of all ages are ready and waiting for you.