A: KJHK (aka The Sound Alternative) is the student-run radio station at the University of Kansas. KJHK is housed in the third floor of the Kansas Memorial Union. The station broadcasts over the air at 90.7 MHz and also streams via our website and smartphone app.
Q: How long has KJHK been around?
A: KJHK officially became a radio station in 1975. We are celebrating our 45th birthday this October! KJHK was previously part of the journalism school, but the station was moved to the Union in 2010. Before that, the station was housed in a small building affectionately dubbed “The Shack.”
Q: What does KJHK stand for?
A: KJHK is short for (K)ansas (J)ay(H)aw(K)!
Q: What does KJHK do?
A: KJHK provides unique and engaging experiences for KU students to learn about the world of radio broadcasting, the music industry, professional communication, and multimedia content production. We are proud to call ourselves a campus learning lab, and any student is welcome to join our organization!
The station seeks to provide the KU and Lawrence communities with quality music you are unlikely to hear anywhere else. Currently, we broadcast 24/7, 365 days a year. KJHK engages in community outreach efforts and has established itself within the local music scene and in relationships with local businesses. The station also curates a great deal of web content, from podcasts and live performance videos to music reviews and cultural content. KJHK also provides coverage of KU sporting events both on-air and in online formats.
These functions are directly enabled by our volunteer staff of over 150 students!
Q: What are the volunteer opportunities at KJHK?
A: KJHK offers a wide variety of volunteering opportunities. Currently, we have four staffs: content staff, music staff, street team, and sports staff. More information about specific staffs can be found here.
Another volunteering option is to serve as a KJHK DJ. DJs are required to participate in at least one of the four volunteer staffs listed above. More information on DJing can be found below, in the “DJs” section.
Q: How do I join KJHK as a volunteer?
A: You can apply to be a KJHK staffer and rotational DJ here.
Q: Does KJHK offer paid positions?
A: Yes, we do! There are a few ways you can get paid to work at KJHK.
The first is to join our executive staff, a stipended group of ~15 students who are in charge of overseeing volunteer staffs and keeping the station functioning on a large scale. Our executive staff typically hires during May for the full following academic year. You can look at our open executive positions here. (More information about our executive staff can be found below in the “Station Organization” section.)
KJHK also offers smaller paid positions via the Multimedia Staff. These staffers assist the In-Studios Director in band recruitment, video/audio recording, and editing of Live @ KJHK videos, which feature on our YouTube channel. The application for these positions opens at the beginning of each semester.
Q: How is the executive staff/station management structured?
A: Great question. Our executive staff has undergone a lot of changes since last year, but our general structure has stayed the same.
We are overseen by 3 Union advisors: Mike MacFarland (Union IT), Tom Johnson (Union IT), and Bailee Myers (Media, Marketing, and Programs). They directly oversee the student station manager, who then oversees the rest of the executive staff.
KJHK is subdivided into 3 “bubbles”: Communications, Programming, and Content
The Communications bubble is headed by the communications director, who oversees our underwriting director (brings in funds for the station), community engagement director (keeps us involved in community happenings), and creative director (makes our programming posters, graphics, and more). Our community engagement director oversees volunteer street team. Our IT director works within the communications bubble, as well!
The Programming bubble is headed by the programming director, who oversees two music directors. The music directors are in charge of relations with labels and promoters, tracking and importing new music, and running the volunteer music staff.
The Content bubble is headed by the content director, who also directly facilitates volunteer content staff meetings. The content director oversees the sub-bubble of editors (who also work closely with content staff): the web content editor, the audio content editor, and the video content editor. They also oversee the sports director (who leads sports staff and coverage) and the in-studios director (who coordinates Live @ KJHKs with the multimedia staff).
Q: How do I navigate the station itself?
A: KJHK’s station can be a bit overwhelming at first… there are a lot of rooms! While we are currently closed to non-executive staff members, we hope to begin safely phasing in more KU student volunteers in the coming months. Here is an overview of our layout:
The reception office is the face of KJHK; currently, we have an executive staffer manning the office from 10 AM – 3 PM. Although we are not currently allowing walk-ins, executive staff members are available to answer any questions you might have via [insert info here].
The music library is, as the name suggests, a place where many of our older CDs and vinyls are stored. Currently, the music library also features a super cool window display to celebrate our upcoming 45th birthday.
The music office is where our two music directors hold their office hours and communicate with promoters. In non-COVID times, it is also the best hangout spot in the station… the couch is very comfortable!
The studio, of course, is where the magic happens. While DJing is currently taking place 100% remotely, in typical times, the studio is where live DJ shows, talk shows, and sports shows take place. The studio houses our soundboard, 4 microphones, and even more CDs.
Production 1 & 2 are rooms specifically for recording audio content. Production 1 is often used by DJs to pre-program shows and record mic breaks. Production 2 is used by our content staffers to create on-air promos, podcasts, and more.
Finally, studio 366 is the filming and editing location for KJHK’s famous Live @ series. It is spacious, atmospheric, and by far the coolest-looking room in the station.