A growing number of campus radio clubs and student radio amateurs have begun to share ideas and suggestions on the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) Facebook page, which is aimed at sparking renewed participation, activity, and idea-sharing among this special sector of the Amateur Radio community. The now-expanded initiative stemmed from two well-attended ARRL New England Division Convention forums for radio amateurs attending college, one hosted by the Amateur Radio clubs at Harvard (W1AF) and Yale (W1YU). As the forum explained, the activity level at campus Amateur Radio club stations can vary wildly from one year to the next, as students graduate and newcomers arrive.
“The most common difficulty stems from uneven interest over time,” said ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, in his “Second Century” editorial, “Cheers for College Amateur Radio: Sis-boom-bah!” in December 2016 QST. “Even the strongest leaders in college Amateur Radio graduate every 4 years, sometimes leaving their clubs without adequate continuity or leadership succession.”
Gallagher pointed out that “recognized” student activities require students in order to maintain that status. However, even officially recognized college club stations may find themselves at the mercy of administrations in terms of space for a station and antennas, and some clubs have had to move more than once to accommodate their schools’ space requirements. Issues involving safety and security can also affect college radio clubs.
In a recent post, Kenny Hite, KE8CTL, a graduate teaching assistant at West Virginia University, said the university’s Amateur Radio club, W8CUL, has been unable to participate in recent on-the-air events “due to lack of working equipment and questionable antenna setups,” as he put it. “We are working to identify working equipment/coax lines.” Another poster, Dennis Silage, K3DS, who’s associated with the Temple University Amateur Radio Club (K3TU), said, “A key to a successful and long-running college club seems to be faculty involvement for stability and recognition.” He invited other CARI participants to check out the club’s website to see what members have been doing.
“It occurred to us that, if college Amateur Radio could galvanize [mutual interests], then colleges might just provide the ideal bridge between youthful interest in the subject and lifelong participation in our community,” Gallagher wrote.
Some ideas are already being suggested, and the Facebook page has spurred communication among an ever-widening network of those involved or interested in Amateur Radio on campus, from students, faculty members, and administrators to college radio club alums. One suggestion has been to harness the competitive nature of colleges to organize operating events — perhaps with “conferences” resembling those for sports — to keep interest alive.
ARRL received permission to rebrand the Collegiate Amateur Radio Operators Facebook group, initially organized by Sam Rose, KC2LRC, as the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative. All collegiate radio amateurs, clubs, and alumni are invited to participate and to get involved in activities that advance the art and enjoyment of Amateur Radio. All suggestions are welcome.
Short overview of the BP-307, a new high capacity 7.2V / 3350mAh (typ.) Li-Ion battery pack designed for Icom’s latest range of IP, LTE radio and sele... Read more
The newest DMR Handheld Ham Radio from Anytone is the AT-D878UVII Plus HT, which incorporates 500,000 contacts and 10,000 talkgroups into the same, gr... Read more
The Chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs, Barry Lewis G4SJH, reports on the work being done in defending the interests of the Amateur Services... Read more
Brand new from Wouxun is the KG-UV8H Handheld, which features a different screen than earlier models, an 8-watt output power, and a 3200mAH battery. L... Read more
The STARWAVES DRM SoftRadio allows you to conveniently enjoy any DRM live radio broadcast on your Android smartphone or tablet. No Internet connection... Read more
There’s an incredible amount of radio signals. It’s impossible to know them all, let alone recognize them. So why not get help from Signal... Read more
Icom has released a firmware update for the IC-7850/IC-7851 HF Amateur Radio transceivers. Also released is a related update to the RS-BA1 version 2 s... Read more
Win4IcomSuite is a windows control program for the Icom IC-7100, IC-7300, IC-7600, IC-7610, IC-7700, IC-7800, IC-7850/51 and IC-9700 transceivers sup... Read more
“I typically paper log my Parks on the Air contacts during an activation. After I get home I will transcribe and edit the log with Fast Log Entr... Read more