Chad Saunders lives by the motto, "finish what you start," and he is fulfilling that motto as the new station manager for CJSW, hoping to add a few more tricks to his lively past at the University of Calgary.
Saunders graduated from the
U of C in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in geography and tourism. Some might recall his more famous escapades that include founding the Annual Slurpee Cup Tournament, and running for Students' Union Vice-president Events on a Freak Party Platform.
"I ran under a Bob Vila Home Improvement Platform. The improvement platform was meant for students to renovate MacEwan Student Centre ourselves," said Saunders. "We would buy home improvement books to renovate Mac Hall, which could possibly have been completed by now."
Saunders was CJSW program director for two years before leaving to pursue a career with the Calgary Business Information Centre. From the Centre, he adopted essential skills by linking individuals with resources required to run their own businesses. Saunders just returned from travelling abroad throughout Asia, and will now manage the station full-time.
Saunders expressed enthusiasm about his return to the U of C, especially during a significant time in radio and media.
"Big things are going on and it's a great time to be involved with the station, without the expression of 'payola' being played over," said Saunders. It was a big thing in the '90s if radio stations took 'payola' to play music, where stations have become, well, let's face it... pretty complacent and bland. CJSW doesn't always tell the 'truth.' We choose to represent the other side. I'm tired of hearing 'if this happens, you should expect this.' There's no checklist of what is heard; there's no correct answer. I like CJSW's freedom, and it's ultimately up to the listener to decide."
Saunders expects to maintain and even exceed CJSW standards, by following other similar broadcasting venues and concentrating on its volunteers.
"I'm definitely looking forward to working with all the people at CJSW and focusing on what they want," said Saunders. "More volunteer management and maybe creating a BBC-like environment with live bands on-air are some of the plans for this year."
"In terms of better volunteer training, we want to teach people all aspects of broadcasting, not just to say the right words, or how to talk on-air, but to really expand ourselves as a community," he said.
Student involvement and community support is crucial to keeping CJSW alive amidst the media bubble in Calgary.
"Students at the U of C have so many excellent opportunities to get involved on campus," said Saunders. "I want students to come join CJSW and really challenge themselves because the freedom we have to do that is brilliant.