KSDJ rocks at SDSU

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

KSDJ is yet another source of unique entertainment that students can find at SDSU.

Jerry Jorgensen, the Dean of the College of Arts and Science, has been around since the station’s beginnings about a decade ago. “I taught radio and TV courses here, so I worked with the students in the early days to get the station up and running,” he said. “[The students] applied for a license, and I think they got a construction permit in late 1992. They began broadcasting early 1993 and then it was full operation in the fall of 1993.”

This is not to say that the history of radio on campus only goes back to the early 1990s. Jorgensen says SDSU’s radio days go all the way back to a time when SDSU was South Dakota State College.

“At one time the campus had a radio station,” Jorgensen said. “SDSC had one of the first radio stations in the state in 1923.”

Slowly, that radio station became South Dakota Public Broadcasting and was no longer run by students.

The loss of this student-run media led to the reformation of the radio station.

“The students wanted to have a radio station they could call their own,” Jorgensen said. “It’s a student-run, student-operated radio station. The station was set up to be run by students and I think it still is. I think they’re operating the same way.” In that way, KSDJ hasn’t changed much in recent years. “They wanted their own station, as most colleges do,” Jorgensen said. “I don’t think they’ve undergone many changes.”

Though many students and faculty members were involved in the station started, including Jorgensen, he gives much of the credit to the Student Association. “The Student Association voted unanimously to proceed [with the station], so the Student Association would be the one to get the credit for actually starting it,” he said.

Over the years, the station has been a place for students to call their own. “[They play] alternative music; it’s an outlet. It offers a variety of programming and music types,” Jorgensen said. “It gives them a place to play and listen to different kinds of music and get out campus information.”

This student-led effort is what makes KSDJ so unique, Jorgensen said. “I think one thing that makes it special was it was something students wanted, and it truly is a student-run, student-operated station. It’s truly theirs.”