On the west side of campus, in the Professional Studies Building, KRUA 88.1FM “The Edge” is hidden away in a corner. Anyone visiting typically enters through a robust green door and goes up about fourteen steps. At the top of the stairs, they are immediately greeted by a blue wall with gold stars and signatures scattered on it. Adorning the wall are a mixture of names beckoning for attention and others that are steeped in folk and lore.
The blue wall represents the countless KRUA Volunteers, students and community members who have contributed to KRUA’s success as a non-commercial radio station over the last two decades. KRUA turns 20 on Tuesday February 14 leaving behind the trials and tribulations of childhood bliss and the experimental teenage years.
KRUA did not initially start out as a FM station but as a carrier current station in 1987 underneath the call letters of KMPS operating on the frequency of 590 AM. Fast-forward five years later in 1992 on Valentine’s Day KRUA debuted as a FM station transmitting R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” shortly after 5 p.m.
Over the years, KRUA has been the stomping grounds for imaginative and artistic students as well as community members wanting to learn about and participate in broadcast radio. Volunteers have been responsible for original content such as “Let’s See Other People”, “Locals Only,” and “We Are Friends.”
KRUA alumni are inclusive of Shana Sheehy who is the founder of the Alaska Teen Media Institute, Dr. G.W. Kimura, the President and C.E.O of Alaska Humanities Forum and Zac Clark, Concert Board Coordinator at the University of Alaska Anchorage. KRUA’s original veteran disc jockey Ras Jah Real has been on the airwaves since 1992!
The essence of college radio is students are the creative entities that garner the ability to influence the direction of the station. As a fully student staffed organization, KRUA’s primary objective is to provide entertainment for the UAA campus and the community through broadcast radio. KRUA utilizes the talents of our volunteers to air exclusive original content as well as syndicated programming from across the United States.
KRUA enlists the help of various personalities to select the best alternative, obscure electronic and underground hip-hop that you never have the option to hear on the commercial stations.
As KRUA Production Manager Joshua Spring puts it, “As it stand KRUA ranks among the highly underutilized resources available to students at UAA. It provides clubs and individuals opportunity to express themselves and their goals to hundreds of potential listeners. These resources are surprisingly easy for students and staff to access. For example public service announcements for community and campus events can be requested through the www.kruaradio.org, entire clubs can reserve an on air slot to talk about their interests. Inspiring disc jockeys, audio production designers, comedians, and generally creative individuals can go through the volunteer training program to create a mark on their resume that can last the rest of your life.”