One Last Goodbye: Celebrating KSDT’s 50th Anniversary

Image of KSDT radio station courtesy of Patty Cuen.

The first time I heard about KSDT Radio was during a summer orientation where I, a freshly-graduated high school student, had reluctantly accepted that I was going to spend at least two years at UC San Diego. The plan was to complete the two years required for transferring and then apply to the small liberal arts colleges many of my friends retreated to. It was where I envisioned I would blend in most. Truth is, UCSD seemed like a dim place for a person like myself, a commuter student who admired the arts and music, which opposed what was expressed by the campus.

So, while at orientation, I signed up for every artistic group on campus, including the KSDT radio station. Although I can’t remember who was tabling that day, I do remember them giving away random CDs and encouraging people to apply for a show. Our conversation about music taste and my engagement with the various CDs on the table attracted me to explore the KSDT website, which began my eventual love for radio. I applied within the week, and started my show Week 1. My show, “The Elephant Hour” hosted by DJ Gentlestbuffalo, became the one thing on campus I deeply cherished. Weekly routines of getting coffee and listening to potential songs I’d play on-air were moments that will forever be ingrained in my experience at UCSD, and led me to stay.

Image courtesy of Patty Cuen.

Image courtesy of Patty Cuen.

In order to contribute to the place that made my experience at UCSD more memorable, I felt it was necessary to be more involved. Attending KSDT meetings resulted in the fostering of relationships with DJs and staff, which made me want to become a more active member at the station. The following year, I became DJ Affairs Director, then Music Director, and before I knew it, I was the General Manager, all while maintaining my show every week. My show aired all four years of my time at UCSD and kept me sane; it was the one hour I felt productive and genuinely happy. I’m thankful to the person that accepted my application and to the people I met that made me feel welcomed in a place I would eventually call home.

This year was KSDT’s 50th anniversary, and I am very honored to have been the General Manager during such a commemorative time—a milestone for those who founded the station and for those who have loved and maintained it throughout the years. Celebrating the 50 years of the station connected alumni DJs with those fresh to KSDT, and allowed us to reflect on the positive attributes the station gives to the students of UCSD. KSDT provides a sense of community and a space to express yourself musically. The station would not be the place it is without the help and dedication of hundreds of staff members throughout the 50 years. The milestone symbolizes not only the 50 years of the establishment, but also the 50 years of friendships that would have never existed without KSDT.

Saying that the moments spent at KSDT were all great would be a lie; there were times that would challenge my love and dedication to the station, but my admiration for the station always made it worth it. Ice breakers, movie nights, random events both on and off campus are all great memories that dominate my experiences at UCSD. While these experiences are my own, I know that there are people in the community that feel the same and I am very honored to tell you how much of an influential and important space the station really is. KSDT is a place that allows students and people from the community to have a voice, gain lifelong friends, and best of all, a home. Happy 50th KSDT, and thank you for everything you’ve given us; without you, UCSD would not be the same.

With much love,
DJ Gentlestbuffalo

Patty Cuen is a Contributing Writer for the Arts and Culture section of The Triton, and was the General Manager of KSDT radio station from 2017–2018.

  • Strelnikov

    They need a 100 milliwatt part 15 AM transmitter. KSD at SDSU has one.