The biggest names in the country have graced the campus of historically black Bowie State University including, President Barak Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Minister Louis Farrakhan. During homecoming season Bowie State often draws some of music’s biggest stars like Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Meek Mill. Unfortunately, and like any other college in the nation, sometimes Bowie State faces negative attention for example, the 2011 fatal stabbing, or the $3 Million lawsuit against Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Bowie State by a student, of course, news that has all gone unrecorded by students and Bowie State University.
There is no logical reason why in 2015 Bowie State students unheard and unrecorded, while the world around tells the story for us.
For more than a decade, Bowie State’s radio station has been inoperative, and the university’s website falsely promotes its services. This leads prospective students to believe that they will get a fair opportunity to explore broadcast media as much as any other surrounding universities, such as Howard University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland: College Park, and American University—all schools with excellent broadcast media laboratories, by the way. With the Communications department being the largest populated college at the university, there’s a large concern for administration’s accountability and integrity.
[quote_box_right]Enough is enough, and generations of students are graduating without proper hands-on experience with professional equipment. It’s embarrassing.[/quote_box_right]
Every semester Bowie State’s Communication department provides Radio 101, an entry level course into the education of radio broadcast. Radio 101 scratches the surface of radio knowledge and allows students to record miniature radio segments on rundown equipment that seems it might have been purchased in the 90s. Each student pays a lab fee in regard to these types of classes, and Radio 101 is no different with a $35 price tag for each student enrolled in the class for the semester. A large question accompanying the fee is: where is that money going towards if the students and professors have seen no progression towards the Communication department?
Mind you, there are more than 15 students for each radio class, with no less than 2 classes a semester. Is there money being uncirculated?
Numerous attempts of awareness have been expressed towards the unresponsive Department Chairman. Conversations with the Provost and University President have also been discouraging. The core values of Bowie State are “accountability, integrity, and excellence,” but the Bowie State administration have been upsetting all of its students who wish to have a broadcasting radio station in which they’ve promoted for longer than a decade. Enough is enough, and generations of students are graduating without proper hands-on experience with professional equipment. It’s embarrassing.
It is rumored from a student government source that the Bowie State 2014-2015 Student Government Association has taken the initiative to replace the duties of “BSU Radio.” By creating a completely separate station located in the New Student Center at the college, the SGA will fully fund and operate a brand new radio station.
There’s hope that the rumors develop into immediate action, but I think we all have an understanding of how slow HBCUs have the capacity of moving.
—Freeman McGaw is a graduate of Bowie State University.