Assignment: Radio

Selected Sundays at 12 Noon

Assignment: Radio is KGOU's student-produced public affairs program focusing on issues and events on the University of Oklahoma campus.

Each semester since Fall 2004, the staff of KGOU has helped a small group of University of Oklahoma students produce programs on topics ranging from OU's connection with Iraq to the university's alcoholic beverage policy to a behind-the-scenes look at OU football game day.

Student reporter/producers typically meet in a class once a week to critique previous shows, discuss their upcoming stories and brainstorm future program topics.  Their work is graded, and they earn class credits for their participation with the show.

Painted text on the OU South Oval in late 2005.
Nik Madjan / Creative Commons

The University of Oklahoma's South Oval is a place of almost constant activity. Students pass out pamphlets, write notices on the gray concrete in chalk, offer free food and drinks, and sometimes enter into heated debates.

Such arguments are guaranteed in the first amendment, one of the most recognizable and most discussed sections of the Bill of Rights. The right to free speech is often cited, but not always completely understood.

“I think a lot of people believe that free speech rights are absolute,” OU Law Professor Joseph Thai says. “They also believe that the first amendment applies to private parties. Both of those beliefs are inaccurate.”

Thai teaches a class about the first amendment and notices that many students think that their constitutional right to free speech allows them to say whatever they want wherever they want.

“Free speech rights only apply against the government,” Thai says. “In other words, you don't have a free speech right vis a vis your private employer, or vis a vis your parent.”

Berit Watkin

In 1989, the Berlin wall was dismantled and by the next year, Germany was once again one country.  That meant consolidating East and West Germany, and often the West’s laws and culture prevailed over those of the East.

University of Oklahoma International Studies professor Rebecca Cruise is an expert on Eastern Europe.

Germany's Fascination With Native American Culture

Dec 3, 2014

Last month marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The University of Oklahoma held a symposium commemorating the event. Guest speakers came from around the world to lecture about their specific knowledge base around the fall of the Berlin Wall. Assignment: Radio’s Hayley Thornton attended expecting to learn about a culture on another continent. Instead she learned about German’s fascination with a culture closer to home.

Stephanie Frederic / Twitter

Since graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1982, Stephanie Frederic has worked in radio, television and film in positions ranging from reporter to executive producer.

She now runs her own company, FGW Productions, which creates content aimed at black and Latino audiences. The name acronym stands for “Frederic Girl Working,” a reference to a phrase she heard often around Los Angeles, “That Frederic girl is always working.”

OU Professor Adapts To Digital Classroom

Nov 19, 2014
John Morgan / flikr

When they are not in class, college students always seem to be typing a text on their smart phones as they walk around the University of Oklahoma campus.

Certainly, technology has become an integral part of people’s daily lives with so many platforms --Twitter, Facebook and website and blogs – so many new ways of expression through social networking and the Internet.

This change affects everything, from social situations to business transactions, and for many, if you are not using digital devises, then you are in the dark ages.

Hayley Thornton / KGOU

In the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan’s character describes some of the fashion choices young women make every October 31.

But with ever-shifting social boundaries, how exactly do you define what makes an “appropriate” Halloween costume?

child in a native american halloween costume / Google Images Creative Commons

The idea of “cultural appropriation” and the use of Native American attire made headlines earlier this year after Gov. Mary Fallin’s daughter Christina posted a photo of herself wearing a Native headdress on Instagram. But if you explore any Halloween costume shop this October and there is a good chance you will find Native American costumes, many featuring a feathered headdress.

But this year, some costume manufacturers are experiencing pushback from people that believe the costumes are culturally insensitive.

Assignment: Radio October 2014

Oct 15, 2014
Sarah Hurd

It's the first episode of the Fall 2014 season of Assignment: Radio. Student and KGOU employee Sarah Hurd and I explore some new events in Central Oklahoma. She gives a preview of a new, trendier food style and I give an in depth look at a local childhood cancer walk.

Emily Soreghan

The idea of local, sustainable food isn't new. It's pretty much the only way early settlers on the Oklahoma prairie didn't starve to death.

But in the 21st century, everything from home gardens, to restaurants, to huge organic agribusinesses help pass the practices, and the connection between the land and the food that comes from it, to future generations.

Katie Shauberger’s yard has two small garden plots, which she showed me on a cool September night. Katie is a senior at The University of Oklahoma and an avid gardener who has many reasons for growing her own food

CureSearch Walk Fights To Find Childhood Cancer Cure

Oct 14, 2014
Hayley Thornton

October gets a lot of attention as a month dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer, but in September many organizations recognize childhood cancer. Last month the group CureSearch sponsored a walk to help raise research funds.

Singing For Each Other

May 11, 2014
David Milan

College a cappella choirs are more popular than ever, but at the University of Oklahoma, there’s still only one – The Redliners. Assignment Radio’s Madeline Stebbins takes us inside rehearsals and the minds of some of the Redliners the week before the final concert of the semester.

Madeline Stebbins is  an alto in The Redliners. There are 19 Redliners, and every semester they sing pop, rock, and musical theater songs. For some of them this concert is the last one.

Nancy Mergler Steps Down

May 11, 2014
Molly Evans

Stepping down after nearly two decades as OU’s senior vice president and provost, Dr. Nancy Mergler is preparing for possibly the most significant transition of her career — being able to sleep at night. In a spare moment, Mergler spoke with Assignment Radio’s Molly Evans about concluding the 19-year chapter of her professional life, starting as the only female provost in the Big 12 in 1995 and ending as the longest-running chief academic officer in June of this year.

The Beginning Of A New Chapter

May 11, 2014
Taryn Trotter

There are some endings that come with growing up, moving away for college, learning to support yourself and graduation. But nonetheless, the opening and closing of a new chapter is hard. I talk to my mentor in my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, about what it’s like to face the next chapter in her life, graduation.

Assignment: Radio April 27, 2014

Apr 27, 2014
Super Stock

It’s the latest episode of the Spring 2014 season for Assignment: Radio. This week Madeline, Molly and I explored telling stories with sound, in a series of "sound rich" stories. Soothing music, loud clanking of scrap metal, and the hypnotic sounds of a treadmill await you in this episode of Assignment: Radio.

A Great Grandmother's Gift

Apr 27, 2014
Tyler Johnston

Basketball shoes squeak on the polished wood floor, grunts emerge from the weight room, and tennis shoes pound a hypnotic rhythm on the belt of a treadmill. Many people have to force themselves to go to the gym, but here, Tyler Johnston finds peace.

Tyler is a personal trainer at the University of Oklahoma, and says the most important thing to him, is his clients.