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ACRN provides opportunities in music journalism, lifelong friendships

Ohio University is home to a multitude of student media organizations, ranging from magazines to newspapers to radio networks. In its over 50 years since being founded in 1971, ACRN has expanded its coverage, departments and content. 

ACRN, an acronym for All-Campus Radio Network, may seem like just a radio station. But, it's a mega source of media for OU and Athens created by students who work to make their eight respective departments blend.

Jonah Krueger, a senior Honors Tutorial College student studying journalism, is the general manager of ACRN. Krueger works on guiding the organization's productivity while "creating a positive relationship with the surrounding community and fostering a healthy environment within the organization."

As a freshman, Krueger came to college knowing he wanted to be a part of a student radio station. He went to the Involvement Fair, found the ACRN table and promptly joined. After attending the initial meetings, he threw himself into his work. Krueger started out in the programming department as a radio hour DJ, wrote for the editorial department and got involved with the promotions department booking and running shows. He became the news editor for the editorial department his sophomore year and as a junior, was elected general manager. 

"Music has always been a really big part of my life … I really wanted something that was going to be at least adjacent to the music world so that I could stay involved and make it a bigger part of my life," Krueger said. "Once I found out I could do that and ACRN had a website where I could write, publish things, get my name out there and get some experience under my belt, it was a perfect fit for what I was looking for."

Julia Weber, a sophomore HTC student studying journalism, currently serves as the features editor and co-social media director at ACRN. Before becoming features editor, she was a staff writer. In her time at ACRN, Weber has interviewed Matt Vinson of CAAMP ahead of OU's 2022 Music Industry Summit and covered the Nelsonville Music Festival.

When it comes to being co-social media director, Weber explained that the social media department was created to split up the PR department's work to be more manageable. 

"It's definitely a team that's going to evolve and change as we decide what our goals might look like for the next few semesters," Weber said. "Right now it's a handful of us and we each have a different area of interest so that we're making sure all departments are covered."

Weber also said that she, like many other "Rock Lobsters," are interested in music journalism and use ACRN as a way to get their foot in the door of the industry. Additionally, she said that for students like her who didn't have extensive journalism opportunities in high school, ACRN provides a great learning environment and plenty of ways to build a portfolio. 

Alec Syrvalin, a fifth-year student studying photojournalism, didn't join ACRN until his junior year at OU. He had friends who were in ACRN and was looking to join a student media organization, so when the position for visual media director opened up, he applied on a whim. Since getting the job, he has worked to make the visual media department the best it can be. Syrvalin has worked with fellow students to round out their skills and covered video content like ACRN's 'Instudio' series, ACRN's annual Battle of the Bands and LobsterFest

"(Becoming director) was terrifying at the time," Syrvalin said. "It took a solid month or two to really figure things out and get it going, but once it started it's been in full swing ever since and it's been so much fun."

Krueger, Weber and Syrvalin each said the community that's been established by everyone in ACRN is a huge part of the reason they've enjoyed their respective experiences at the organization so much. They all explained that they've met and then gotten to work with some of their best friends and would recommend joining to anyone interested. 

"It's just like hanging out," Krueger said. "It's a great bunch of people who kind of just really get along. There's really a passion and a certain ethos that just drives everything that's ACRN."

Anyone interested in more information about ACRN can check out to learn more. 


Tate Raub

Opinion Editor

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